According to SIZA’s audit process and methodology, the SIZA Social and Environmental Standards undergo a comprehensive review every three years. This periodic assessment serves as a valuable opportunity for SIZA and the South African industry to realign the standards with current legislation and market demands. The process involves a technical review panel, comprising representatives from the entire value chain, along with legal experts, ensuring a meticulous and comprehensive evaluation.

Although the majority of revisions primarily consisted of updates to wording, descriptions, and definitions, a few significant changes emerged during this review cycle. Among the most notable alterations are:

SIZA Environmental Standard changes:
Theme Code Requirement Change
Protection of natural biodiversity areas, fauna and flora


Code Requirement 5.3


Principle Code: Restore and Conserve Ecosystems


(Page 51 of the SIZA Environmental Standard)

The legislative requirements on illegal hunting of fauna and flora were added. This is supported with the requirement for agricultural suppliers to map their biodiversity areas and ensure that it covers at least 3% of the total area.
Animal Ecology Code Requirements 5.4 and 5.5.


Principle Code: Restore and Conserve Ecosystems


(Pages 53 and 55 of the SIZA Environmental Standard)


The standard requires to evaluate whether the business ensures an ecosystem is maintained whereby the environment is not negatively impacted by the production or use of animals/livestock.
Buffer Zones Code Requirement 2.1.


Principle Code: Minimizing Negative Impacts


(Page 24 of the SIZA Environmental Standard)

More guidance on buffer zones provided, with an inclusion of production and packing facilities that do not have an impact on the adjacent communities or land.
Adequate Fertilizer Use Code Requirement 3.3.


Principle Code: Measured and Efficient Use


(Page 39 of the SIZA Environmental Standard)

Amendments made to ensure producers utilise competent advisors for their fertilizer programmes. Further to this, the requirement to have an annual cropping plan was added. Code Requirement 3.4. was also amended to provide for the requirement to have a map of drainage on farms.



SIZA Social Standard changes:
Theme Code Requirement Change
Gender-sensitivity and Adequate Grievance Mechanisms


Code Requirement 2.4.


Principle Code: Management Systems and Business Ethics


(Page 7 of the SIZA Social Standard)

Further requirements adopted to ensure that grievance mechanisms not only address issues on a one-on-one basis, but rather aim to address grievances as a root cause on all levels of the business.


Due diligence for packing and processing facilities Code Requirement 2.13.


Principle Code: Management Systems and Business Ethics


(Page 11 of the SIZA Social Standard)

Packing and Processing facilities should ensure full compliance of all their suppliers when undergoing an audit. This means that the suppliers must provide proof of their own external audits conducted.


Workers to inform communication/grievance mechanisms Code Requirement 6.4.3.


Principle Code: Discrimination, Harassment and Abuse


(Page 29 of the SIZA Social Standard)

Expansion to include that grievance mechanisms should be informed by employees and allow for gender-sensitive complaints to be launched.


Medical Surveillance Code Requirement 7.3.4.


Principle Code: Health and Safety


(Page 34 of the SIZA Social Standard)


Expansion to include guidance on when medical assessments become applicable to employees working under various different circumstances.


Compressed Working Hours Code Requirement 9.1.2.


Principle Code: Working Hours


(Page 51 of the SIZA Social Standard)

Amendment made to include a description of what compressed work week means in practice as further guidance.



The full detailed list of proposed changes for each code requirements, including changes in wording and expansions on the SIZA Social and Environmental Standards can be viewed here:


SIZA Accommodation Guideline:

To promote a fair, unbiased, and reliable review process for the SIZA Accommodation in Agriculture Guideline, the proposed changes were incorporated into the Standards review process to ensure alignment with legislation, producers- and market needs. This inclusive process involved knowledgeable representatives and legal experts, guaranteeing a thorough evaluation.

A comprehensive reassessment was conducted to ascertain which elements in the guideline adhere to best practices and which requirements are in line with national standards and legislation. Each section of the guideline will now clearly specify whether the stipulated requirements are fundamental legal obligations or provide suggestions as best practice recommendations. Additionally, the proposed changes underwent discussion and review during public forums held for both producers and markets on July 24th and 31st, 2023.

Some of the legislation that was reviewed and incorporated in the guideline include the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the General Safety Regulations, South African National Standards, South African Building Regulations, the Extension of Security Tenure Act (ESTA), Sectoral Determination: 13, the Asbestos Abatement Regulations, to name a few.

Changes in Summary:

  • Added description of what a Dwelling is in accordance with legislation.
  • Expansion of guidance under health and safety training, specifically at accommodation facilities.
  • Legal references were added at the section for Floor Space and general size of communal accommodation facilities.
  • Fire risk and legal requirements indicated under the section for cooking facilities.

For more information on the SIZA Standard Review process, feel free to contact Werner van Dyk at 021 852 8184 /