An acronym often seen or heard by many within the building industry, yet perhaps not fully understood. What does it stand for and relate to in the building industry?

SASEMA is the South African Shower Enclosure Manufacturers Association, formed in late 2004 by an association of South African shower enclosure manufactures under the auspices of AAAMSA

The vision of SASEMA is to:

  1. Establish a framework to regulate the industry
  2. Establish best business practices with guidelines to benefit the market
  3. Strongly emphasize safety standards within the industry related to Shower Enclosure manufacture and installation

This vision led to the drafting of a national standard by SASEMA, which was submitted to the SABS.

The result thereafter was the agreed standard for the industry – SANS 549 (Shower Enclosures for Domestic Purposes), which was published and gazetted in 2012.

Note: SANS 549 must be read in conjunction with SANS 10400 (National Building Regulations, Part N – Glazing) as well as SANS 1263 (Part 1 – Safety performance of glazing materials under human impact)

The question that may be asked then is: “What ‘applied’ benefit does this standard bring to the domestic building industry?”

Firstly, one of the requirements of the standard is that products are type-tested in accordance with the specified procedure outlined in SANS 549, and members are encouraged to test their products. A full pass on such a test, certified by an independent ensures the 3 points above are covered in product manufacture and installation, providing a guarantee that safety and quality standards have been adhered to.

After testing has been done and certified, an official SASEMA Product test certificate will be issued to the member Furthermore, a Certificate of Conformance for the installed product can be issued to the client by the member, a document that building inspectors are looking for more frequently. All of this is creating a synergy of trust between the manufacturer, the professional, and the end-client.

It is particularly important for developers, architects, specifiers, and home-owners to know that shower enclosures specified and installed are done in accordance with the relevant standards, to avoid any repercussions in terms of the new consumer protection act in the event of serious injuries due to non-conforming products.

SASEMA’s strong desire and the main task is to get the ‘buy-in’ of all the players in the industry to adhere to a ‘code of good practice’ and to strictly adhere to the standard as laid down in SANS 549.

SASEMA is confident that its vision created a valuable benchmarking tool for the industry in this regard and strives to progress on ‘good practice’ where necessary.

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