About the NLA

The National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA) is a representative body that evolved from the previous National Laboratory Accreditation service.  Following the assumption of overall responsibility for accreditation (including laboratory accreditation) by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) during 1998, it was decided that a new independent body should be created.

The NLA-SA is a non-profit stakeholder body that represents the voice of South African laboratories. Having over 200 organisations who are members they represent the diverse nature of activities within testing and calibration services.

The objectives of the National Laboratory Association – South Africa is to become a truly representative association for accredited and non-accredited laboratories. In using the term laboratory this should be recognised in the widest sense and it includes measuring, testing, calibration, verification and other bodies, as well as laboratories which operate in well-defined areas of R&D in the natural and applied sciences.

The acronym, NLA-SA, which was linked to the previous National Laboratory Accreditation service was retained, both for the purpose of continuity and because it is well-recognised and respected.

The NLA is a section 21, not for gain company and has a board of directors who are elected from its members. In addition the NMISA, SANAS, SABS Standards Division and NRCS are co-opted onto the board.

NLA-SA Board Organogram

NLA-SA Board Organogram


Current NLA-SA Board Members

Photo of Dr. Louis de Wet
Dr. Louis de Wet
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Dr Louis De Wet is Managing Director of Waterlab (Pty) Ltd and a Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg. He is a co recipient of the Douw Greef Prize from the South African Academy for Science and Art, and co recipient of the ATKV prize for the best article in Afrikaans in the South African Journal of Science and Technology. His interest is the progress of technology in analytical laboratories, enabling more efficient automated analyses, as well as the state of water quality in South African dams and rivers.

Photo of Mr. Prags Govender
Mr. Prags Govender
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Prags Govender is Chairperson of the SANAS (South African Accreditation System) Board of Directors. Currently Laboratory Head for Rand Water, he has been managing testing laboratories for three decades, including 15 years of providing laboratory oversight in USA as the Director of CLS Laboratories (environmental).With an MSc from California State University in the USA, Prags’ commitment to the laboratory industry is to ensuring the validity of laboratory data.

Photo of Mr. Zak Liyaqat-Ali
Mr. Zak Liyaqat-Ali
Aviation Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Zak Liyaqat-Ali is Senior Manager of Avionic Workshops, Non-Destructive Inspection, NDT Lab, Avionic Metrology lab, Dimension Metrology Lab and Workshops Tool-stores, and has 22 years in the aviation sector. He is currently completing his MSc in Strategy and Business Leadership at Cranfield University in the UK and holds several Boeing, Airbus and Aviation certificates. His commitment is to sharing his Aviation experience as a Coach/Mentor.

Photo of Dr. Wynand Louw
Dr. Wynand Louw
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Dr Wynand Louw is Director of Research, International and Infrastructure Development at NMISA (National Metrology Institute of South Africa), where he was involved in establishing the Intra-Africa Metrology System and was the inaugural chair. He represented NMISA at the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance of the International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM), and was a founder member of the Surface Analysis Working Group. He is a member of the Joint Committee for Regional Metrology Organisations and the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures) and was Chair of the Cooperation on International Traceability in Analytical Chemistry. Elected to the CIPM, he is President of the Consultative Committee for Ionising Radiation and has a guest seat on the Consultative Committee for Units. He is focused on Accurate Measurement in all sectors.

Photo of Dr. Dharmarai Naicker
Dr. Dharmarai Naicker
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Dr Dharmarai Naicker is Competency Area Manager for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Her extensive research experience includes Extraordinary Lecturer at the University of Pretoria in Veterinary Science, Project Manager at the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa’s Food, Feed and Veterinary Public Health Programme and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town in the Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology’s Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Group. Dr Naicker is committed to “Re-engineering the food safety testing environment to go green and lean”.

Photo of Mr. Barry Pearce
Mr. Barry Pearce
MatCivils Chair National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Barry Pearce holds several specialist/advisory positions in the civil engineering sector. These include Technical Assessor for the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), Technical Advisor to the Asphalt Academy (AsAc) and an owner/member of Learning Matters etc. Holding a BTech in Civil Engineering, he developed course material for the Asphalt Academy (AsAc) and was a task team member on the first edition of SABITA manual 22. He is passionate about assisting the civil engineering and related industries’ laboratories achieve high standards of professionalism, coupled with a testing fraternity that is qualified at all levels

Photo of Mr. Mpho Phaloane
Mr. Mpho Phaloane
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Mpho is the executive for Accreditation at the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). He joined SANAS on 1 September 2003, as the Programme Manager for Verification Laboratories. He was promoted to senior manager in 2007, responsible for the Mechanical and Physical stream of accreditation, which included Calibration laboratories, Verification laboratories, Inspection bodies and testing (mechanical and physical) laboratories.
Mpho has a National Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the then Vaal Triangle Technikon, and a Master’s degree in Engineering – Materials and Metallurgy from Wits University. He also has post graduate diploma in Management and project management, among other management certificates.

Photo of Mr. Steve Sidney
Mr. Steve Sidney
Director and Honorary Treasurer National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Steve Sidney manages the NLA-SA as its Director and is an active member of a number of South African and international organisations, representing laboratory stakeholders. These include Laboratory Committee (Chair) and Accreditation Issues Committee (ILAC); BIPM – JCGM WG1; and ISO – WG44 Review of ISO17025 as Co-convenor. He is also a Board member of SANAS and Chairperson of the Board of the first multi-economy accreditation body, SADCAS, which is based in Botswana and serves the vast majority of Southern Africa. With a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering Light Current, Steve’s career in Test & Measurement includes working for Fluke South Africa and starting his own business, which was ultimately sold to JSE Listed electronics/telecom’s corporation, Altech. He was subsequently appointed Managing Director of Altech Instruments, a position he held until 1997, following which he began a management-consulting practice.

Photo of Mr. Guy Snelling
Mr. Guy Snelling
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Guy Snelling is owner of Intercal, a facilitator on NLA-SA courses and a SANAS (South African Accreditation System) Technical Assessor, serving on several SANAS Specialist Technical Committees. With an NCS Certificate of Competence followed by more than 30 years experience, he has presented several award winning papers at the NLA-SA T&M conferences. His focus is on promoting SANAS accredited calibration services in Southern Africa and training of a new generation of qualified metrologists.

Photo of Heleen Temple
Heleen Temple
Director National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

Heleen Temple is Senior Manager Standards Development at the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) Standards Division. With 25 years testing and conformity experience of which eight years were in management, she holds a LTI (Licentiate to the Textile Institute), with her focus being across all fields of National Standardization.

Photo of Mr. John Wilson
Mr. John Wilson
Vice Chairman National Laboratory Association – South Africa (NLA-SA)

John Wilson is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and a fellow of the Society for Automation, Instrumentation, Measurement and Control in South Africa. In addition, John is a founder member and past Chairman of SANAS (South African Accreditation System). He is active on several of the ILAC (International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation)
committees and has his own company, which specializes in metrology and accreditation consulting and training.

Objectives of the NLA-SA

The NLA-SA’s focus is primarily on the representation of the activities, interests and opinions of all members laboratories.  Membership of the Association is voluntary and open to all laboratories.

The current objectives of the NLA are:

  • To represent the experience, knowledge and formulated opinions of South African laboratories on a technical, ethical and commercial level.
  • To assist in the interpretation of accreditation requirements, to identify generic national accreditation needs and to resolve issues that were not covered by the SANAS Specialist Technical Committees (STC)
  • To establish a singular interface of representation of its members with SANAS, SABS and the NML
  • To provide a mechanism for technology transfer among its members by means of workshops, seminars, symposia, specialist interest groups, printed reports and newsletters.
  • To establish effective communication channels for technology transfer with organisations that have similar objectives to the NLA (Such as Eurolab)