#JUSTIN: SAZ Reduces Certification Fees For SMEs Manufacturing PPE

INFORMATION and broadcasting services minister, Honorable Monica Mutsvangwa says the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) has reduced certification fees for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

By Michael Gwarisa

Addressing a Post Cabinet Media Briefing, Hon Mutsvangwa said the move would encourage local manufacturing of PPEs and also improve the quality of products being produced locally.

As regards to PPE production, the SAZ has reduced the certification for SMEs and government institutions. Statutory instrument 124 of 2020 was gazetted providing for consignment based conformity assessment and standards of all important PPE and sanitisers,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

At the beging of the lockdown SAZ in collaboration with the government of Zimbabwe said they were working on a new law that will make it compulsory for all producers of hand sanitisers, face masks, face shields and Protective Personal Clothing (PPE) to have their products certified before hitting the market.

The move was set to improve products safety and trust among citizens amidst reports that some brands for examples Hand Sanitisers were endangering lives of users and in some cases highly flammable and damaging to the skin.

In an Interview with HealthTimes, SAZ Director General, Dr Eve Gadzikwa said the new law was meant to protect citizens and users from harm from substandard products.

We are currently providing testing to the producers for their raw materials and their finished products. These include for masks, for sanitisers, for PPEs and for all products that are used during the COVID-19 period.

“In terms of the position at the moment, I can say we do have some companies that are being certified for their products are we are actually working the government of Zimbabwe to come up with a law that is going to mandate all producers to gets their products to be certified. In fact the Vice President made an announcement in the meeting we held that all products are going to be subjected to standard because of the nature of this disease,” said Dr Gadzikwa.

She added that COVID-19 was a very difficult disease to manage and requires the national standards body to provide assurance to the general public, to suppliers and to other stakeholders of the quality of the products.

“The SAZ  is playing pivotal role to respond to COVID-19 to support the prevention and containment of COVID-19. To that end, yesterday (15/04/2020), we attended an inter-ministerial meeting which was held by the Vice President of Zimbabwe.

“Essentially, we were requested to explain what we are doing to support private sector and also the generality of the community that is the Universities, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), how are going to be supporting them during this period in a bid to contain and prevent COVID-19.

She added that Standards have social and economic benefits including health, safety and environmental protection.

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