Confusion has surrounded the issue of the need for an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC), since a local magazine claimed that a recent court ruling said that it was no longer necessary, unless it is a condition of sale. In order to clear up any misunderstanding the Electrical Contractors' Association (SA) (ECA) has responded:
"Neither the ECA nor the Department of Labour (which is responsible for enforcing the Occupational Heath and Safety Act (OHASA) and the Electrical Installation Regulations) are aware of any recent court ruling on CoCs. There is, however, a legal opinion in circulation by a high court judge questioning whether OHASA has the necessary authority to regulate practice in respect of residential properties (and the electrical installations on such properties)."
The question remains to be answered and, until then, according to Nicky Versfeld, the Electrical Installation Regulations still apply. Basically they are as follows:
"The Electrical Installation Regulations require every user or lessor of an electrical installation (i.e. a premises that is electrified) to have a valid CoC, which is transferable, in respect of such an installation. The exception is that, if the installation existed prior to October 1992 and there has been no addition or alteration to that installation, and it has not changed ownership since 1 January 1994, then no CoC is required. Once a change of ownership occurs, a CoC is required."
The finer points of the law's application and why it is probably better to have a CoC, whether or not the electrical installation existed prior to October 1992, are discussed further in the article.
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