Southern African Institute of Tribology


The SAIT are proposing the launching of an affiliated company “Verification of Lubricant Specifications South Africa”, a not-for-profit organisation that is dedicated to the protection of the integrity of lubricating oil performance standards against false or misleading claims. 


Misrepresented products appear to be sold into the SA Market which do not conform to the specifications claimed for them by their marketers. Unrealised quality and performance claim promises place consumers and equipment at risk and distort the market. However, it is appreciated that in some cases the misrepresentation is due to a genuine lack of understanding. As an organisation we do strive to increase the level of specification education to consumers and marketers alike. Equally, it must be said that perpetrators of such actions are in the minority and the vast majority of product supplied into the market is completely fit for purpose. 

The Mission

The VLS-SA mission, simply put, is to protect consumers of lubricants from purchasing products that make incorrect specification and performance claims.  This will be achieved by providing an independent, objective, credible and trusted means to challenge and verify lubricant specifications and performance claims.


The VLS-SA objective is to establish a transparent Lubricants market with fair competition and accurate performance and OEM specification approval claims that enable consumers to make informed and conscious purchase choices.  There is no intention of curtailing the marketing of cheaper, cost-effective lubricants provided they are accurately described and labelled.

VLS-SA in Operation

Where a case of possible non-compliance, is brought to our attention,

VLS will:

  • independently investigate and check compliance to industry standards and performance claims within the SA marketplace
  • engage with market participants and relevant Authorities and industry bodies to pursue incorrect or false product quality and standards, with focus being placed on education and/or undertaking of remedial action to improve compliance
  • ensure its engagement incorporates a ‘right of reply ’
  • raise market awareness through publicly reporting findings from its investigations on the quality of lubricants sold in the market
  • promote the importance of lubricant quality and performance specifications
  • advise VLS-SA members, VLS-SA participants, industry bodies and relevant authorities on case outcomes
  • where remedial or corrective action is not undertaken, VLS-SA will provide relevant information to industry bodies and relevant Authorities to  take necessary action
  • welcome membership from all industry participants 

VLS  will not:

  • publicise information concerning non-compliant products without having attempted to seek engagement with the producer or marketer concerned and not without independent verificatio
  • intentionally create barriers to entry to VLS-SA for anti-competitive purpose
  • eradicate lower price value products which carry correct specification claims
  • seek to gain or make public confidential information from both members or non-members and not use such confidential information for any use other than the day-to-day business of VLS-SA to investigate a case

The VLS-SA structure

  • Board
  • Supervisory Committee
  • Technical Review Panel
  • Secretariat

The proposed structure is intended to ensure that all market complaints of incorrect or false claims are investigated in total anonymity  throughout.  Where fault is confirmed and where remedial or corrective action is not undertaken, then and only then, VLS-SA will take action to publicise information concerning non-compliant products as well as provide relevant information to industry bodies.

Proposed of Ethicsplease download

  • Do you believe that consumers and end users should be able to made an educated and informed choice about which product to buy?
  • Are you concerned about false claims in the SA Lubricants market?
  • Do you want a way to show the quality of your own products?

VLS-SA is an independent organisation providing a credible and trusted means to verify lubricant specifications.

Join VLS-SA and be part of the Lubricant Industry Initiative to bring transparency to the lubricant market place and protect and educate the end user.

Case Handling process

VLS-SA Specifications and Marketing Claims updated guidance

Download here


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