FOOD FOR THOUGHT: BENEFITS VS CRITICAL MASS
There are many schools of thought about whether it is beneficial to be or become a member of an Association. There are many companies who feel that there is no concrete or financial benefit to membership of an association and the old adage of “What’s in it for me” or “It’s a club for the large companies”. SAPMA is no different.
Recently we received an application for membership from a multinational company opening in South Africa. On enquiring as to their reasons for applying for membership , I was informed that their principal had insisted that they join ‘An association representing the industry so that they can become informed as the what the Legislative and Regulatory requirements are in the country and can be kept up to date regarding everyday issues pertaining to transport, fire protection, Hazardous substances, health and safety and most importantly… contacts with Government officials’They saw the provision of industry related and accredited training programmes as a huge bonus.
SAPMA is involved in a myriad of discussions and negotiations with Government Departments on an ongoing basis, which is sometimes overlooked. This contact ranges from the DTI, regarding import and export tariffs, dumping and the importation of substandard products, with the Department on Health, pertaining to the elimination of Lead in Paints and the irresponsible use of Methanol in the Retail market, the Department of Environmental Affairs regarding the ‘Extended producers responsibility Act’, STATS SA on cooperating with the collection of meaningful industry statistics and more recently the Department of Agriculture and their interpretation of Act 36 of 1947 and its bearing on Pesticides, algaecides, biocides etc. used in the production of paint. Ironically, because of their appreciation of SAPMA’s strong representation in the industry they are requesting verification of imported materials impounded in South African ports, from SAPMA before release of the product to the importer.
The truth of the matter and hence ‘Food for thought’ is that the benefits accrued to members and the industry, are directly proportional to the members representation of the industry.
They do listen when you represent an important industry: so re-examine your reason for not being a members of SAPMA.
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