There appears to be much confusion regarding electrical compliance certificates.

The law requires that every user or lessor of an electrical installation must have a valid certificate accompanied by the test report in the prescribed format. The certificate serves as proof that the electrical installation is safe and complies with the official requirements.

The certificate has a validity of two years, provided that the installation has been properly maintained during that period. If the owner has made alterations to the electrical installation, he or she needs to have it inspected and to obtain a new certificate.

It is important to note that the certificate can be issued only by a qualified electrician, i.e. one that is registered with the office of the Chief Inspector Department of Manpower in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993.

The regulations provide that the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate is older than two years. It does not say who must pay for the costs of the certificate, whether it be the seller or purchaser. In practice, the Offer to Purchase usually provides that the seller will arrange for the Certificate and pay for the costs.

Similar regulations have in recent years been promulated with regard to electric fences and gas installations.

Gas installations for which a certificate of compliance are required, are gas stoves, built-in gas braai’s and gas hot water systems. The Certificate may be issued by an authorised person registered with LP GAS.

Since December 2012 all owners of residential and commercial units, whether sectional title or not, that have electrical fences must ensure that they are compliant with the regulations and that a Certificate of Compliance has been issued by a qualified electrician registered with the Department.

The Certificate will be required when the property is to be transferred, and also when a change or addition (like restringing an electric fence) is made.

So if you have electricity on your property, an electric fence and a gas installation, you will need three compliance certificates – one for each of these.

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