Historical Background Print

Keeping in mind the importance of a pure and Halaal diet in the life of a Muslim, community organisations had established certain activity to guide Muslims in terms of their diet and monitor various areas of the Halaal industry as a service to the Halaal-conscious consumer.

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 purported to certify products as Halaal. Many of these organisations had neither the resources nor the management capacity to adequately address the issue. They were, however, established with the sole object of generating income from the so-called Halaal certification process.

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 have not been adhered to. This led to widespread confusion, suspicion and dissatisfaction at both industry and consumer level.

Prior to the formation of SANHA, 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 Halaal-conscious consumer.

As a result of the problems set out above, 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.

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 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 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.
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