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CMA News & Articles


29 February 2016


CMA enters a new era

 Not a moment too soon the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) is in the process of registering an all new company to undertake quality assurance services and issue the long awaited CMA Mark of Approval to verify product compliance with SANS specifications on behalf of its members.

 Until now the SABS had been the only certification body active in the concrete manufacturing industry, but long and costly delays in the issuing of marks of approval were hampering the industry and members called for swift action to address the situation. This prompted the CMA to establish the new company which will test and verify compliance with SANS specifications. The company will open its doors in May 2016 after it has completed trial assessments and received the go-ahead from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

 The Quality Assurance division will be operated as a separate revenue generating company with the CMA NPC holding 100% shares in the business. Revenues generated will be used to fund operations and profits received will be used to supplement the CMA’s coffers and so reduce its dependency on grants. CMA executive director, Frans Minnaar says a general manager and marketing manager will be formally appointed soon to start the ball rolling.  “The establishment of the company is a positive step in the right direction and ensures that our members will be able to prove their compliance with SANS specifications without being hamstrung by inefficiencies of outside certification agencies. “

 CMA Mark Scheme

 While certain members remain bogged down unable to obtain certification due to backlogs at the SABS (and other reasons), the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) is working rapidly to start up a quality assurance and certification company that will be able to take over the responsibility for the precast concrete industry.

 Incumbent general manager of the new CMA Quality Assurance company, Christo van Zyl, updated members on progress towards establishing the CMA Mark of Approval at the CMA feedback session held in Kempton Park recently. “We are currently in the process of submitting our quality management system to the South African National Accreditation Systems (SANAS) for accreditation. Once this has been done we will begin to determine costs and select “guinea pig” customers and products to go through assessment under the scrutiny of SANAS. Once that has been completed and we are awarded SANAS Accreditation we will be allowed to open for business.”

  He says it is a common misconception that only the SABS can provide certification of SANS specifications and issue a mark of approval (SABS Mark of Approval). It is important to remember that since 1994 the standard specifications no longer belong to a specific certification authority and any properly registered certification authority may measure assess and certify companies to the SANS specifications which are our national specifications. “Our specifications are only printed by the SABS.”

 Powerful web presence

 Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) members have entered the “Internet of Things” with the launch of the interactive World of Precast web portal that allows users to submerse themselves in a world where concrete products and manufacturers are just a click away.

 The experience-based website is based on a 3D visual representation of a city and allows browsers to delve deeper to find products and manufacturers to undertake their projects. The website also cross references products with the CMA members that manufacture the goods in order to ease the search for precast concrete product manufacturers. World of Precast was conceptualized and built by WOW Interactive and provides a unique tool that is visual and easy-to-use.  Steve Cowling of WOW Interactive says the portal has been specially designed with 14 fields, each a visual rendering, that clicks through directly to manufacturers and products. It is infinitely searchable, giving users a unique experience to interact with the concrete world that we live in. Enter the World of Precast at

 The year that was

 In many ways the year 2015 was a springboard for bigger and better things to come from the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) with a number of new initiatives planned.

 Recounting the activities of the organization during the CMA’s annual feedback session, executive director Frans Minnaar said that the CMA is engaging more closely with its members and is becoming actively involved in addressing challenges to assist members as well as identifying opportunities wherever they exist. Highlights of the year included the planning and near finalization of the new CMA website, as well as World of Precast interactive web portal. Planning of the CMA Mark of Approval was also undertaken and all the necessary steps put in place to launch a new 100% CMA NPC owned Quality Assurance Company to manage the certification process.

 Reach-out roadshows were held in new areas to introduce the CMA to manufacturers as well as end users in the Kwa-Zulu Natal and Limpopo areas. In addition, seminars on the new ISO 9001:2015 quality assurance standard as well as the Hybricem hybrid building techniques were held across the country. The Association’s presence was also felt at the Totally Concrete trade show where the CMA boasted a large booth that included participation of 15 members each with a panel on the stand and room for their technical representatives to interact with visitor.

 During 2015 the membership remained largely unchanged with four new members and four resignations. At the end of the year the membership was as follows: 

 Producers                           86

Non producer                        22

Contractors                            5

Associate                             14

Cement producers                  4

Total                                  132


New publications launched during the year included a much needed Manhole Manual as well as a Quality Management System Guideline. Sales of existing publications went well with good sales of Structural Concrete Masonry Design Guide, Lockpave & Permpave programs and the Step-by-Step Guide to Perfect Paving.

 The CMA road ahead

This year promises to be an exciting year for the Concrete Manufacturers Association NPC (CMA) with the launch of a new certification company, a round-the-country roadshow and a host of seminars planned so far.

 With SABS certifications taking unacceptably long the CMA is launching its own certification agency to assist its members to obtain certification on required SANS standards in order to qualify for tenders and meet engineering specifications. A series of combined roadshows will be held across the country to announce and explain the transition from SABS certification to the CMA’s own mark of approval, as well as to introduce new members and users in far-flung areas to the services of the CMA. Seminars planned thus far will include Roof Tiles, Lintels, Paving and Permpave.

 Publications will also receive attention with the Roof tile and Paving manuals up for review. An investigation is also being led to establish the need for a Wet Cast Paving manual to be developed. Simultaneously, Precast magazine is growing in leaps and bounds with approximately 8000 people reading the magazine per issue.

 Publisher Andrew Meyer says, “Since taking ownership of the magazine eight years ago the magazine has gone from a loss-making publication that cost the Association a considerable amount of money, to a no-risk publication for the CMA that is well respected and eagerly anticipated by members and all those involved in the manufacture and procurement of precast concrete products.

 While neither the Association nor its members are required to contribute towards publishing of the magazine it does need advertising in order to survive and members are urged to continue to support the magazine. The Association will continue to step up its public relations efforts throughout the year and will continue to be visible through participation in trade shows such as the Cape Construction Expo and Totally Concrete 2016 later in the year.

 Technical feedback

 The CMA’s technical committee, under the watchful eye of Taco Voogt, never rests as they move from one technical issue in the precast concrete industry to another and ensure that both manufacturers and end users’ interests are looked after.

 Last years the technical committee concentrated on SANS 1058:2012 standard for concrete pavers and brought about changes to the old standard which was open to different interpretations. These changes included changes to the requirement for aggregates which now deems it acceptable to allow historically proven aggregates to be used. Changes were also made for water absorption requirements taken out of the main body and moved to an annex as a recommendation only. The tensile splitting test length determination of a block was defined and the k-factor has been removed from the standard. These suggestions have been submitted to the SABS for ratification.

 Changes were also on the cards for SANS 1215:2008 concrete masonry units with the first action called for being the adoption of BS EN 771-3:2003. This resulted in the new SANS 50771-3:2015 being promulgated and the workgroup has subsequently requested that the old SANS 1215:2008 be withdrawn. Other amendments have also been made to SANS 542:2015 for concrete roofing tiles where minor change and administrative revisions were made. SANS 541:2012 precast concrete slabs was also scrutinised and contradictory wear and abrasion requirements were amended. Interestingly it was also found that testing equipment required to do the tests was not available in the country. SANS 927:20133 for concrete kerbs, edgings and channels also changed among many others.

 Taco warned members that the SABS auditing division has recently clamped down on CMA members with regards to interpretation of national standards. This has led to certifications being withheld on products that previously did conform. In particular, on the compliance with SANS 1083 for aggregates for concrete etc.






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