Electric fence certificates

This circular is intended to bring to your attention the latest developments in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act No. 85 of 1993, as applicable to the change of ownership of immovable property.

Regulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations imposes an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have an electric fence system certificate of compliance.

The requirement to have an electric fence system certificate does not apply to a system in existence prior to 1 October 2012. However, as with an electrical compliance certificate, it will be required where an addition or alteration is effected to the system or there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists if the change of ownership takes place after 1 October 2012.

The electric fence system certificate is separate from an electrical compliance certificate and therefore an added requirement if the property has an electric fence system.

It will be necessary to include an appropriate clause in sale agreements concluded after 1 October 2012 if there is an electric fence system on the property. A transfer registered after 1 October 2012 will trigger the obligation to provide a certificate. It will be necessary to arrange for the issue of an electric fence system certificate if there exists an electric fence system on a property that is currently in the process of being transferred.

The certificate is transferable. Once it has been issued, there is no need to obtain a new one upon a change of ownership.

Carol McDonald


Electrical Machinery Regulations 2011

Reader Comments:

Adrian Walden 15/11/2012:

I have discussed this matter at length with Chris Greager, the national director of the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa (031 – 312 6313). He advises that despite numerous attempts to find anyone in the Department of Labour who will deal with applications by anyone wishing to register as an Electric Fence System Installer, he has been unable to do so, and it would appear at this stage that it is futile to try to implement this new law. I would be grateful if anyone would be able to provide me with information to the contrary.

Avril Browne 15/11/2012:

More a question than a comment - most townhouse developments, new and old, have electric fencing on perimeter walls - what modus operandi is required for new developments - freehold and sectional. Would the onus be on the developer as the first seller of the respective units?

Roger Jenkins 16/11/2012:

This will be music to the ears of some. Electric fences are a blight on the urban landscape and part of the fortification of suburbia. They often encroach on neighbours or municipal land and the municipalities have done nothing to regulate or monitor installations.

Penny 16/11/2012:

The installation of electric fences onto perimeter walls is classed a minor addition which in terms of the Durban by laws requires plans to be submitted and approved. Many homeowners are unaware of this requirement, therefore not only is a electric fence system certificate required at transfer, but also confirmation that it has been installed in accordance with approved building plans.

Louis Kruger 21/11/2012:

In response to Adrian Walden: I have just spoken to Pieter Laubscher (Deputy Director for Electrical Engineering) at the Department of Labour, Head Office, Pretoria (012 309 4682). Pieter advised that they are in the process of issuing temporary registration certificates to EFSI's and they hope to have them all issued by next week.

Adrian Walden 21/11/2012:

Thanks Louis.

Les 18/12/2012:

How is this all going to effect owners living in Sectional Title and HOA complexes. Does each and every owner have to have the certificate on hand until the day they sell? 

Shawn Howell 15/01/2013:

This is a nice thing, I am an a qualified electrician and an installer myself and it's shocking how many fly by nights install electric fences and just make a mess of the work then still charge the people an arm and a leg. This needs to be controlled especially when they could put peoples lives in danger.

shawn 15/01/2013:

LES I don't think so as you are not selling the complex only a unit on the property. But it would be the body corps responsibility to have one in case someone gets injured and turns into a legal matter.

At van niekerk 29/01/2013:

We have upgraded our electric perimeter fence during January 2013. In accordance with Regulation 12, we will need to obtain an electric fence certificate to be issued by an accredited electric fence INSTALLER. Do any one know of an appointed Installer that we can approach. Did the Department of Labour come up with the registration of INSTALLERS?

Albert Worroll 26/02/2013:

AT Van Niekerk, the department of labour has put the registration process in place already. I am currently registered and am able to inspect and issue a certificate of compliance. if you require any information please feel free to contact me at

James La Grange 07/03/2013:

It would seem to me that the best way forward is for the Electrical Contractors' Association / Electrical Contracting Board and the Department of Labour (who register Electrical Installation Electricians) should cooperate in the development of an Electric Fence add-on module to the curriculum of an Installation Electrician's training course, which will enable such a person to inspect and certify compliance of the electrical installation as well as the electric fence during one visit. A practical solution, which will reduce costs to the consumer, who already has to pay for an Electrical Inspection, an Entomologists' Inspection, a Gas Compliance Inspection if applicable and in the Western Cape, a Plumbers Certificate.

Oupa Mabula 13/03/2013:

Can you please advise if the electric fence compliance certificate is applicable to Buildings or property peremiter fence. And if electric fence was installed in 2011, is it supposed to have compliance certificate.

Johan Kruger 17/02/2019:

I am a registered electric fence installer myself, but recently I found out that there are registered persons who write these certficates out at random for unregistered installers of electric fences. It is concerning because this lady in Springs Gauteng does not bother to even test one single fence some estate agents are also using her as well as some electricians who do work at these places, it is arranged certificates and by default illegal. There are also electrical installers that make use of some other registered electricians who does the same just randomly writing out certificates of compliance. It is a big problem for us legal installers and is hurting the whole industry but no one care to police it not even the dept. labour.

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