The purpose of this letter is to clarify the different roles and mandates of SATAS and the ITC-SA in the construction environment.

South African Technical Auditing Services Pty Ltd (SATAS) is an ISO 17065 SANAS accredited Product Certification Body for different products manufactured to the relevant SANS standards. Certificate of Accreditation No. C25, issued by SANAS, dated 25 August 2015 refers. The certification of timber roof truss products, to the requirements of SANS 1900, is included in the SATAS scope of accreditation.

The Institute for Timber Construction South Africa (ITC-SA) is the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) approved professional body in South Africa for engineered structural timber construction. The ITC-SA and its professional members strive to create and maintain the standards in the construction sector. The ITC-SA is a recognized voluntary association in terms of the Engineering Profession Act. (Act 46 of 2000), and an invited participant on forums like Standards South Africa, the NRCS, the NHBRC and where members’ interests are promoted.

ITC-SA is the only professional body that covers compliance to industry standards in terms of SANS 10243; SANS 2001-CT2:2011, etc. No other organization can claim to become an alternative or to represent the timber construction industry as per the mandate of ITC-SA. ITC-SA Communiqué No. 059 fully explains the functions and benefits of ITC-SA membership.

There is a perception that the SATAS certification can replace the work being done by ITC-SA. This is not the case, as SATAS cannot represent the roof truss manufacturers at any authority or Government body. SATAS certification deals only with the compliance of the roof truss products within the requirements of SANS 1900. SATAS does not approve of the design or system used, will not monitor the implementation of the materials and designs on site nor the failures that arise from an unregulated environment.

SATAS may grant certification to manufacturers in compliance. Certified Manufacturers are subjected to six unannounced product inspections per year as well as one announced Audit on their Quality Management System. At the moment SATAS has 4 SANS 1900 certifications. SATAS audits for compliance by the certificate holders in accordance with strict requirements as set out in ISO 17065, SANS 1900, SATAS requirements as well as the Manufacturer’s own Quality Management System.

Any Manufacturer is welcome to apply to SATAS for product certification which will be granted once compliance is confirmed. Not all applications will necessarily be successful. Quotations for certification are calculated by using a set cost model which may differ for different applicants. For budget purposes, interested Manufacturers wanting SATAS certification may use an amount of R5 000.00 for the initial assessment and R3 000.00 per month after certification has been granted.

Abe Stears