All Users, Lessors of an electrical installation are required by Law (Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993(Act85 of 1993) to have a valid certificates of compliance (CoCs) for the electrical installations on their properties.

A valid electrical CoC is the accepted proof of safety and compliance. The CoC and test report documents were formulated by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), with stakeholder input, and are accepted by the Department of Labour as being the standard for assessing electrical installations.

In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) (OHASA), no property may change hands without a valid CoC that covers all electrical installations – from the main switch in the distribution board to the points of consumption, such as socket outlets and terminals of light fittings. This applies to all installations that form part of alterations or additions to the property, from garages to swimming pools and security gates, but excludes appliances such as lights, geysers, stoves, gate motors, garage door motors and air conditioning units etc.

If the CoC and test report are less than two years old, the CoC is transferable but does not cover wear and tear and a new CoC and test report must be issued for any alterations or additions undertaken after the existing CoC was issued.

When a property is sold, either the buyer or the seller can obtain the CoC. However, it is usual for the seller to pay a contractor to inspect the installation, carry out any work required for compliance and issue a CoC when everything is in order, as per SANS 10142/1.

In terms of the OHASA Electrical Installation Regulations, a CoC must be issued by a registered person, defined as “a person registered as an electrical tester for single phase, an installation electrician, or a master installation electrician”. Registered persons may be the owners or employees of registered electrical contractors. They must be currently registered with the Electrical Contracting Board (ECB), and registrations must be renewed annually. They must also be accredited by the Department of Labour (DoL), the body responsible for regulating electrical installation work and enforcing the OHASA. No company may do contracting work unless they have a permanently employed registered person as part of the company.

It’s important to make sure the electrical contractor who issues your electrical CoC is authorised to do so. Ask for valid certification.