The issuing of such a certificate by the SA authorities is nothing new. It is called a Police Clearance Certificate. What is new is that the Certificate of Good Conduct (as it is called by the UAE) is now also required for anyone wishing to take up a job in the UAE.
If, however, you have been in the UAE for 5 years or more, you have to obtain the certificate from the UAE.
Application Process in South Africa:
South Africans can visit their local police station (or the SAPS Criminal Record Centre, Pretoria) to request a Police Clearance Certificate as proof that a criminal record does not exist. The application must be accompanied by a full set of fingerprints (obtainable from local police station) and payment (currently an amount of R 59.00). After receiving the certificate, it should be attested first by the SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation and then the UAE Embassy in Pretoria.
The Khaleej Times has also published to advise regarding the costs, for more please click here