Citizens asked to comment

The department of social development encourages the public to comment on the draft for the manufacturing of washable, reusable sanitary towels.

The department is urging everyone to have their say on the Draft South African Standard. This standard covers the requirements and test methods for washable, reusable sanitary towels for external use.

Furthermore, this standard does not apply to disposable sanitary towels.

The introduction of such standards could be a game-changer for the sanitary industry in SA because the consequences of inadequate menstrual management extends beyond the classroom to health, dignity, psycho-social well-being, employment, and participation in society.

Focusing on a holistic approach to menstrual hygiene management will go a long way to providing an interventional edge in this field.

SABS (South African Bureau of Standards), the technical committee responsible for the preparation of this standard has reached consensus that the draft should become a South African standard. The objective of the SABS standards division is to develop, promote and maintain South African national standards. This objective is incorporated in the Standards Act, 2008.

To date, there has been no standard available for the manufacturing of washable and reusable sanitary towels.

Yet, it remains one of the most economical, environmentally friendly and efficient modes of dealing with menstruation.

Moreover, other African nations across the continent have taken the lead in this area of certifying reusable pads. In SA, a leading store is selling reusable products. Internationally, it is becoming more and more popular because of its health and environmental benefits. The draft document is now made available by way of public enquiry to all interested and affected parties for public comment, and to the technical committee members for record purposes. The closing date for public comment is Wednesday 25 September.

Sharna Fernandaz Minister for social development
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