Conference to discuss impact of non-compliant plumbing fittings in South Africa

A whopping 47% of the plumbing components in South Africa do not comply with SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) regulations.

A whopping 47% of the plumbing components in South Africa do not comply with SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) regulations. This is due to a number of factors, which include the import and sale of non-compliant fittings and the difficulties that lie in the control and legislation of this practice. Another factor contributing to the problem is the skills shortage and lack of knowledge in the plumbing industry, many 'plumbers' have not been trained and employ unskilled labor.

Kaluka Paul Lobanga, a guest speaker at WaterTec Africa 2009 will discuss the impact of non-compliant plumbing fittings, the negative effects and the possible solutions. WaterTec Africa 2009 will be held from 9 to 11 June at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.

A multidisciplinary engineer, Lobanga has been involved in various engineering projects including chemical and civil engineering projects. As part of his Master's degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Johannesburg, Lobanga conducted a two-year study on the plumbing system in South Africa in 2007 and 2008. He will present some of his findings at WaterTec on "The Extent and Impact of Non-compliant Plumbing Fittings in South Africa."

The study found that poor quality imported products also affect the local market negatively. Because of their low prices, non-compliant plumbing components flood the market and local manufacturers suffer from reduced sales, low profit and difficulty in retaining local employment. Locally manufactured products are more expensive because it is more costly to produce high quality products and include features required to comply with SABS standards.

In order to solve the problem of non-compliance, water authorities will need to implement major enforcement of legislation, water inspection policies and perhaps even create an inspection company. Other solutions would include improved training of existing 'plumbers' and their staff. Tighter controls over imported products will also need to be introduced.

Problem solving is the name of the game at the WaterTec Conference. With the theme "Challenges and Solutions," the above and many other questions on the water issue will be answered.

To attend the conference to be held on 9 and 10 June please contact:
Bette McNaughton of Fair Consultants
Tel: +27 (0) 21 713 3360 Fax: +27 (0) 21 713 3366
E-mail: bettemc@fairconsultants.com
Website: http://www.fairconsultants.com

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