South Africa is an open economy, and, therefore, it is affected by what happens in foreign markets. Exports and export growth are cornerstones of South African economic development policy. One of the implications of an export-orientated economy is that many of its SMME manufacturers must, of necessity, conform to the technical requirements in export markets. South Africa will have to follow international conformity assessment trends and adapt to the highest common denominator in many of these markets. The challenges for local compliance with the technical standards, regulatory and conformity assessment regimes are substantial, even when they are transparent; however, when compared to what might be faced by local SMME’s addressing technical requirements both closer to home within the local SADC region and in the rest of Africa, the challenges mount exponentially.
Policy Paper 02