SAAFF was formed in 1921 and is a national association with members throughout the Republic of South Africa. While it attends to matters of national interest, its constitution permits regions to form chapters of the association, to deal with local issues. Five regions have qualified to establish their own chapters:
Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Border.
The Association is a non-profit organisation governed by a constitution which provides for a board of directors, with a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. Its directors are highly experienced, senior managers from member freight forwarding companies, who are nominated and voted for by these members. A CEO administers and manages the Association’s daily affairs.
With an estimated nine hundred agents operating in the country, it is recognised that an industry voice is imperative.
SAAFF liaises closely with many government departments and parastatal institutions, dealing with matters such as customs, port health, trade permits, border controls, export control of perishable products, cargo handling and security at harbour terminals and airports, plant quality and roadfreight legislation.
The Association enables members to call on their collective knowledge and skills to determine and recommend practical and effective responses to the many challenges facing not only the forwarding and customs clearing industry, but also those affecting the commercial interests of their clients. This would be impossible to achieve by individual companies.
The Association is the vehicle by which agents who choose to become members can, in a cost effective manner, secure consistent and effective representation on forums which influence their business – so that technological and legislative developments do not compromise service quality and delivery, but rather enhance it, and that impediments to international trade are minimised.
In view of the international character of the freight forwarder, a close relationship with other freight forwarding associations is considered of vital importance, especially in a Southern African context.
SAAFF is a member of FIATA – the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations. FIATA is the largest non-governmental organisation in the field of international transportation and its influence is felt worldwide. FIATA represents an industry covering approximately 40 000 forwarding and logistics firms, employing about 9 million people in 150 countries globally. SAAFF derives benefit from FIATA’s international standing, its participation in many trade-related world forums, and its knowledge of international forwarding affairs.
The role that SAAFF members play in the South African economy
The members make a major contribution to facilitating trade within South Africa. Member companies manage over 80% of South Africa’s international trade. The association is accepted by the authorities as the industry voice and is consulted by them on matters influencing freight management.