In a country where poor service delivery, broken promises made by politicians, failing infrastructure and interrupted power supply have become the norm, it is comforting to know that the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) and its team of committed members are doing everything in their power to ensure that end-users and ordinary citizens have a consistent water supply.“Reliable infrastructure is paramount for the nation’s success. For this reason, it is SAPPMA’s mission to create a space of unwavering trust within the plastics and piping industry. By ensuring that the plastic pipes used to provide critical infrastructure to our nation, i.e. water and sanitation, gas and electricity meet and even surpass global standards, we know that these pipes will last for at least 50 years (their minimum expected lifespan) before needing to be replaced or repaired,” says Jan Venter, SAPPMA CEO. He states that, as an industry body and association, SAPPMA understands the value of every drop of water – especially when living in a water-scarce country such as South Africa. Millions of liters of water are wasted each year due to old or failing water infrastructure, or when inferior quality pipes are used, or due to poor installation practices. “When it comes to the conveyance of water, the quality of piping systems cannot be compromised. As an independent, voluntary industry body, we work closely with certification bodies to ensure that all our members meet the strict requirements of our quality control procedures, as well as plastic pipe manufacturing best practices. In order to be allowed to display the SAPPMA name on their pipes as quality guarantee, each member is expected to abide by the association’s Articles of Association and Code of Conduct which includes them regularly being subjected to unannounced factory audits, including the sampling and testing of raw materials and finished products,” he says. Venter explains that manufacturing cannot be the only focus of quality control. The entire supply chain of any given product needs to be called into focus and must adhere to quality control checks. For this reason, SAPPMA members represent the entire value chain, starting with the raw material suppliers, specialized manufacturers of pipes and pipe fittings, installers, certification bodies, construction companies, water boards and municipalities, consultants, contractors and even individual members.
All these members abide by the rules set out by the Competition Commission and are united in the common goal of ensuring quality across the board and providing products that will stand the test of time,” he says.Mindful of the fact that manufacturers will want to try and save money by taking shortcuts or including recycled content in their pipes, SAPPMA’s Code of Conduct strictly forbids the use of recycled materials during the production of certified pipe. “Although we understand that including recycled content in the production process could help to drive costs down, these are often products that are inferior in quality. We also want to ensure that there is no suspicion surrounding the origin of the materials and that there are no potential harmful effects or risk of leaching of bad substances into the water, which is highly possible with some recycled materials.” What SAPPMA Offers Its Members In addition to providing collective solutions for our nation’s infrastructure, SAPPMA offers several benefits for those who become association members. These benefits include:
- Collective Voice: SAPPMA represents more than 80 % of the plastic pipe market in Southern Africa and is the only representative plastic pipe forum in the country. Members have a collective voice at engineering associations, consulting engineering firms, municipalities, water authorities and contractors and are also afforded valuable networking opportunities, social interaction and enjoy a sense of community.
- Technical Information: SAPPMA members have access to objective, expert information on technical matters by way of personal consultations, technical publications, industry conferences and webinars and market survey results/reports.
- Product Standards: Members have free access to the latest product and SANS standards, quality systems and test procedures, test facilities, monitoring and quality control and have representation at SANS Technical committees and other certification authorities
- Quality: Members who are pipe producers and installers are set apart from other players in the market by passing the SAPPMA factory audits and adherence to the SAPPMA Code of Conduct.
- Marketing & Communication: The SAPPMA mark on a product has become a sought-after quality guarantee that gives customers and end-users the peace of mind that their product meets local and international quality standards. Members are therefore supported by an established brand that is solely aimed at protecting the customer and the infrastructure of the country, as communicated through our marketing and advertising campaigns.