Regulations in the South African plastic sheeting market are becoming more stringent, as the SABS and the National Regulator for Certified Standards (NRCS) continue to crack down on manufacturers that disregard quality standards.A major enforcer of this tightened regulation is the Consumer Protection Act, which makes the retailer responsible for the quality of the product supplied.

As a result, retailers and other industry role players now insist on the SABS mark on all products used for construction purposes, such as SANS 952, which covers polymer film for damp-proofing and waterproofing in buildings.In order to maintain SANS 952 accreditation, the SABS will inspect the manufacturing process and test mark-bearing products against the mechanical requirements set out in the specification, either annually or bi-annually. The SABS uses a test report which outlines the risks, predicts the consequences and proposes control measures to eliminate possible issues.If a complaint is made against an accredited product, the SABS carries out a formal investigation too.

According to David Tromp, managing director at industrial packaging and construction sheeting expert Damax Kahn & Kahn, there are dire consequences for bypassing accreditation. “This includes structural damage, decomposition, infestations and health hazards to residents in the building.”

“End-users that exclusively use SABS-approved products enjoy the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that the production and quality assurance processes implemented by the manufacturer of the products are regularly monitored and audited by the regulating body. This also ensures traceability and accountability, should a product failure or a complaint arise,” he concludes.