Introduction to SANHA
The South African National Halaal Authority (SANHA) is an international, registered non-profit organisation, representing the Islamic values of the Muslim Ummah on all matters pertaining to the general application of the term Halaal with specific reference to Islamic dietary laws.
SANHA was founded in 1996 with the aim of providing the Muslim Community a single representative national Halaal authority, which promotes professionalism and excellence in the certification of Halaal food and other related products and whose certification system is based on the highest possible Halaal standards incorporating lofty ethics and absolute moral integrity. Complementing this is our customized Halaal Assurance system (SHAS) which was carefully designed to fulfil the needs of the South African Halaal market, thereby lending further value to SANHA’s Halaal assurance and certification.
Through standardisation, SANHA hopes to foster uniformity and eliminate confusion and deception in the marketplace. Indeed, this strategy does not only prove beneficial for the Muslim consumer but is also a means of promoting trade both nationally and internationally. SANHA’s membership comprises of expert Theological Bodies and leading Professional Organisations of global repute. SANHA is among the founder members of the World Halaal Council and enjoys international recognition from both Muslim government agencies and the broader global Halaal community. In addition to this, SANHA enjoys accreditation and recognition of leading world Halaal accreditation agencies and Halaal certifying bodies.
Currently, SANHA operates in all the metropolitan municipalities of the country with branch offices in Gauteng and Cape Town, whilst its head office is based in Durban.
Mission & Vision
‘To establish a representative, professional and internationally recognized Halaal authority which promotes professionalism and excellence in the process of certifying, monitoring and promoting Halaal products in accordance with the Divine dictates of the Shari’ah (Islamic Law). In addition to this, to place the Halaal-conscious consumer at the heart of the Halaal industry by creating awareness of the processes of the industry and creating a sustained harmonious and productive partnership between the consumer and SANHA in the monitoring of the same.’
SANHA understands Halaal certification to be a trust and as bearing witness (Shahadah) on behalf of the broader Muslim community. This includes the maintaining, renewing, extending, reducing, suspending and withdrawing of certification.
SANHA therefore undertakes to have a profound understanding of the supply of Halaal products and services to Muslims and takes appropriate steps to ensure Islamic responsibilities are fulfilled in all its activities. SANHA ensures that it complies with all Islamic Shari’ah requirements.
Some Core Objectives
SANHA’s objectives inter alia are to:
• Develop a uniform Halaal standard approved by mainstream Ulama (Muslim Theologians);
• Protect the rights of the Halaal-conscious consumer at all times and to maintain a Halaal lifestyle;
• Empower and educate both the consumer and the industry with regard to Halaal dietary law and manufacturing procedures;
• Eliminate temptation by unscrupulous organisations and enterprises to exploit the Halaal end-user.
• Increase the variety and accessibility to Halaal products;
• Certify products which comply with Halaal requirements and provide on-going monitoring and logistical support to Halaal certified companies;
• To keep abreast with the latest technologies, innovations and developments in specifically processed food production and all other products generally used by Muslims thus keeping Halaal contemporary.
• To develop and implement effective control and monitoring systems thereby guaranteeing to the highest possible standards that products labelled “Halaal” are truly Halaal compliant.
• To promote and implement effective quality systems which encourages the participation of all Muslim consumers in the policing of the Halaal industry.
• To build relationships across the mainstream Ulama thereby generating the highest possible uniform standards for the certification of Halaal products.
• To develop National and International collaborative relationships in order to enhance and promote the Halaal industry.
• To Maintain a quality service to the industry which embraces the Halaal certification programme.
• To protect and nurture the right of the Halaal-conscious consumer.
• To act against transgressors in a vigorous and transparent manner.
• To develop, train and support its staff in the delivery of quality products and service to the industry
Keeping in mind the importance of a pure and Halaal diet in the life of a Muslim, the South African Muslim community organisations had established certain activities to guide Muslims in terms of their diet and monitor various areas of the Halaal food industry as a service to the Muslim community.
In the past, due to the isolated placement of Muslim communities, purchases were made mainly from Muslim traders. With the removal of apartheid, the consequent proliferation of Muslims throughout South Africa, the deregulation of the meat industry, the drastic changes in shopping habits & eating trends, the importation of meat and related products arising as a result of the repeal of sanctions and the indiscriminate issuing of Halaal certificates by unscrupulous organisations for monetary gain, the Halaal industry was showing signs of rapid degeneration. It had therefore become incumbent to establish a nationally represented Halaal body.
Previously a number of small and largely regional organisations claimed to certify products as Halaal. Many of these organisations had neither the resources nor the management capacity to adequately address the issue. Many products that bear Halaal certification marks have been discovered by the Muslim community to be deceptive in that the prescribed supervision and certification procedures had not been adhered to. This led to widespread confusion, suspicion and dissatisfaction at both industry and consumer level. Halaal certification was a fragmented approach in which differences of policy between the certifying bodies were exploited. This led to the word “Halaal” being abused at the expense of the Muslim consumer. As a result of the above challenges inter alia, the only solution was to bring about an amalgamation of all role players in the monitoring and certification of Halaal. This arduous and momentous task reached fruition after almost two years of vigorous consultation and negotiation. 95% of stake holders embraced this noble national initiative and against all odds SANHA was finally launched on 20th October 1996.