Le­sotho needs bu­reaux of stan­dards

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I AM writ­ing this let­ter in my per­sonal ca­pac­ity with the hope of mit­i­gat­ing the chal­lenges Le­sotho’s busi­nesses, es­pe­cially the con­struc­tion and en­gi­neer­ing sec­tors are faced with. Le­sotho is a unique coun­try in its land­scape, shape and nat­u­ral re­sources it is en­dowed with.

Con­struc­tion en­ti­ties led and man­aged by pro­fes­sion­als are needed in Le­sotho to re­store the di­lap­i­dat­ing, de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and dys­func­tional pri­vate and pub­lic build­ings are just amongst oth­ers that Le­sotho’s pro­fes­sion­als need to form this body and more to ac­count on Le­sotho’s in­fra­struc­ture.

Other coun­tries pride them­selves with their statu­tory en­ti­ties that over­see the struc­tural in­tegrity of build­ings in those re­spec­tive coun­tries, to men­tion just the few, NHBRC (Na­tional Home Builders Reg­is­tra­tion Coun­cil), MBSA (Masters Builders South Africa), CEA (Con­struc­tion En­gi­neer­ing As­so­ci­a­tion) The con­crete in­sti­tute etc.

Such statu­tory bod­ies usu­ally rep­re­sent var­i­ous pro­fes­sional fields and spe­cific skills. Once the govern­ment has en­dorsed such en- tities and their mem­bers, Le­sotho will then start hav­ing a pool of spe­cialised con­trac­tors which each con­trac­tor in var­i­ous fields, i.e. roof­ing, wa­ter­proof­ing, bricks sup­pli­ers, con­crete pre­cast sup­pli­ers, build­ing con­trac­tors, elec­tri­cal con­trac­tors, tub­ing con­trac­tors, plumb­ing con­trac­tors etc. will be a mem­ber of its af­fil­i­ated rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cil.

Le­sotho un­for­tu­nately finds it­self in a sit­u­a­tion of only ex­cept­ing or en­dors­ing SABS stan­dards on some sec­tors and fields of man­u­fac­tur­ing, there are proudly Ba­sotho-made con­struc­tion or en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions that could eas­ily su­per­sede SABS stan­dards and ac­tu­ally meet ISO 900/9001 stan­dards, we just need the sim­i­lar above men­tioned in­sti­tutes to over sees that Ba­sotho’s man­u­fac­tures, con­trac­tors, home-made so­lu­tions to get stamp of ap­proval from such en­ti­ties formed by Ba­sotho for Ba­sotho.

Le­sotho is unique, Le­sotho has one rich part of life which is wa­ter.

Af­ter re­cently re­lo­cat­ing to this beau­ti­ful coun­try due to busi­ness in­ter­ests, I have trav­elled the length and breadth of the na­tion with my ex­per­tise I saw one coun­try that could take the world economies by storm if only var­i­ous fields and en­ti­ties could be en­dorsed by Le­sotho’s govern­ment which I have no­ticed prides it­self with open minded rep­re­sen­ta­tives whom some I’ve in­ter­acted with.

Once ei­ther 1: Trade In­dus­try, 2: Pub­lic Works, 3: Wa­ter and Min­er­als, 4: Min­ing, 5: En­ergy, 6: Roads etc min­istries en­dorse and cre­ate a data­base for this var­i­ous fields pro­fes­sion­als mem­ber As­so­ci­a­tions, any in­fra­struc­ture pro­ject Le­sotho will or is plan­ning to un­der­take will proudly be con­structed by Ba­sotho and Le­sotho based com­pa­nies.

Pro­fes­sional en­ti­ties from var­i­ous skills of work will be rep­re­sented by their statu­tory mem­ber group they be­long to.

Ba­sotho just need to unite even more and stop cross­ing the bor­der for in­for­ma­tion or worse off, buy­ing prod­ucts/ser­vices across the bor­der which are avail­able in Le­sotho but un­for­tu­nately op­er­ate solo hence ei­ther no recog­ni­tion or such com­pa­nies are un­known be­cause they don’t have a statu­tory body they be­long to.

Af­ter my ar­rival in Le­sotho, there was one Min­is­ter who was in­ter­viewed on ra­dio re­gard­ing ‘re­cently hired ve­hi­cles’ by the new govern­ment Ba­sotho re­cently put to power, there was some neg­a­tiv­ity.

How­ever in my busi­ness deal­ings and var­i­ous en­gage­ment I’ve man­aged to con­vince many Ba­sotho that most aspects of what the Min­is­ter was say­ing that Ba­sotho need to work on it.

The Min­is­ter called on Ba­sotho to unite and form a body that will make a rep­re­sen­ta­tion on be­half of that trans­port sec­tor once Trea­sury. The min­is­ter was clear that the govern­ment is pre­pared to work with Ba­sotho-owned com­pa­nies.

The govern­ment of Le­sotho is mak­ing a plea to Ba­sotho that they unite and form one com­pany that will make a rep­re­sen­ta­tion for its Mem­bers.

I am hop­ing that many Ba­sotho did hear the min­is­ter and headed the ideas of how work­ing to­gether with one com­mon goal could re­sus­ci­tate Le­sotho’s econ­omy.

Le­sotho is rich with its di­ver­si­fied cul­ture and beams out loud with Love and ded­i­ca­tion for its ma­jes­tic and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties.

Through my in­ter­ac­tion with var­i­ous govern­ment stake hold­ers, Le­sotho’s Govern­ment is pre­pared to en­dorse any Ba­sotho’s proud ini­tia­tive for as long as pro­fes­sion­al­ism will be kept and ac­count­abil­ity poli­cies en­acted.

I am call­ing on all Le­sotho’s pro­fes­sion­als to put it upon our­selves that we start an ini­tia­tive which will even­tu­ally en­com­passes the idea of hav­ing Le­sotho’s Bureau of Stan­dards.

The fol­low­ing ar­eas can be rep­re­sented by Ba­sotho;

Acous­tics, ad­he­sive and pack­ag­ing, agro­chem­i­cals, au­to­mo­tive, build­ing and con­struc­tion, chem­i­cals, chro­matog­ra­phy civil en­gi­neer­ing, cloth­ing, elec­tron­ics ap­pli­ances, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, en­gi­neer­ing, en­vi­ron­ment (ems), ex­plo­sion preven­tion, fi­bre and poly­mers, food and bev­er­ages, in­dus­trial chem­istry, light­ing tech­nol­ogy, mark scheme, me­chan­i­cal and flu­ids, medicine and health, metrol­ogy, min­ing & min­er­als, paints & sealants, petro­chem­i­cal, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, ra­di­a­tion pro­tec­tion, ro­tat­ing ma­chin­ery, rubber & plas­tics, se­cu­rity and qual­ity au­dits, so­lar wa­ter heat­ing, tex­tiles & leather, tim­ber, trans­porta­tion.

Fanyana David Mo­fo­keng.

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