Electrical Certificate of Compliance

Producing an Electrical Certificate of compliance when selling a property in Cape Town has been a legal requirement for many years. With that being said there is always a possibility for “complications” to arise before the coc certificate can be issued, due to the technical and intricate nature of the Electrical compliance rules and regulations.

Valid Electrical Compliance Certificate (COC)?

Electricity behaves just like water and gas in the sense that I has the ability to leak. This potential “electrical leak” can pose a massive safety hazard in your electrical installation as it can flow through anybody who physically touches the faulty or “leaking” electrical appliance. The purpose of the earth leakage relay is to protect you from this dangerous hazard by monitoring any electrical leaks which will disconnect and trip the electrical current once it exceeds a certain set value. Hence the importance of correct electrical earthing to ensure the relay operates as designed in the event of an emergency. All these factors are taken into consideration before the electrical certificate of compliance can be released.

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that his electrical installation is not faulty or non-compliant, nor does it pose any safety threat to man, animal or property.

If you as the registered homeowner do not possess a valid electrical certificate of compliance and a catastrophic event should occur directly as a result of a faulty electrical installation, the homeowner will be held responsible. Not having a valid electrical certificate of compliance could also impact your insurance validity.

Who needs the Electrical Certificate of Compliance?

Who needs a compliance certificate

Who needs a compliance certificate

The registered owner of the property should always have a valid electrical certificate of compliance as this is a legal requirement.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) stipulates that nobody is allowed to market, let, sell or supply unsafe electrical installations.

Again, it is the seller and registered owner of the property to obtain a valid up-to-date electrical certificate of compliance from a registered (department of labour) electrician. This coc certificate must be obtained before transfer takes place and must be acquired from a registered company or individual that conforms to the latest industry standards and practices.

What is the procedure in obtaining an Electrical Certificate of Compliance?

The appointment for an electrical certificate of compliance can be made by the seller, estate agent or transferring attorney by making a call to (021) 707 1012 or sending an email to: info@verm-x.co.za or by completing the online booking form.

There will be an electrical compliance inspection fee involved. This is a once-off fee that covers the labor to carry out the electrical inspection, inspection report and any possible electrical repair quotes. Please familiarize yourself with the process here.

Our technical operations manager will make contact with the owner/occupant of the property to confirm a suitable date and time with the Electrician.  When carrying out the electrical compliance inspection we will need access to every part of the building/property to inspect the entire electrical installation. This includes the electrical DB Board, all plugs, lights, switches, light fittings, roof area etc. All parts of the property including any outhouses, granny flats, garages and roof spaces needs to be accessed.

Please note that the main power will be switched off for a short period to check all plugs and socket outlets. All appliances will be disconnected briefly during the electrical compliance inspection. The electrician will switch on all appliances once the test is complete but please ensure all fridges, freezers and pumps are switched back on before the electrician has left/vacated the premises.

For how long is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance valid?

The electrical certificate of compliance is valid for a maximum of 2 years only, provided no electrical alterations or electrical modifications have being done during that period.
It might be necessary to sign a legal affidavit to this effect.

What are the legal requirements of the Electrical COC Certificate?

The only person that can issue a valid electrical certificate of compliance is a Qualified Electrician with a Wireman’s License, accredited by the Department of Labour

SANS10142-1 electrical installation regulations is a technical manual or guide of comprehensive regulations – Occupational Health and Safety Regulations needs to be referred to on occasion. The Code of Practice is amended regularly by a working group of technical experts in the industry who meet on a regular basis at the SA Bureau of Standards. The Electrical compliance inspector must always adhere to the Code and will not issue a C.O.C certificate (electrical compliance certificate)  if the installation is unsafe as determined by the Code.

What are some of the Electrical Compliance checks?
Below is a condensed list of just some of the items we inspect when carrying out our electrical compliance inspection.

1. Make sure all electrical connector blocks are present and in good working order
2. Fit earth bar & terminate all earths
3. Ensure all electrical cables are correctly routed through main
4. Check all electrical wiring and make sure they are neat
5. Check all labels on the Distribution Board
6. Inspect earth leakage protection
7. Make sure power is running to all light fittings
8. Check all isolators are fit where necessary
9. Ensure no open electrical wiring is present
10. All light fittings must be present and replaces if missing
11. Test power to all light fittings
12. Ensure all phases are correctly color coded on the DB
13. Make sure mains circuit is routed correctly
14. Replace any missing or faulty socket outlets
15. Check any loose light fittings and secure
16. Check any extractor fans and ensure isolator is fitted

NB: These are just a few of the items we check when carrying out an electrical compliance inspection. If any of the above listed items are non-compliant we cannot issue the coc compliance certificate before we rectify the faulty item.

What is NOT included in the Electrical Compliance Certificate?
When carrying out an electrical compliance inspection we always follow Regulation 7(5) of the Electrical Installation Regulations (OHS ACT of 1993), which dictates a change of ownership cannot take place unless there is a valid electrical certificate of compliance.

We always follow all the compliance regulations to the tee and do not insist on any irrelevant repairs or additions, only what is absolutely necessary to ensure your property will pass for a valid electricity compliance certificate. As long as its safe and within the regulations we will issue the electric compliance certificate. We are not overly concerned with aesthetics, longevity or robustness, as long it is a compliant and operational at the time of the compliance inspection.
Our purpose is not to rewire your entire electrical installation in order to pass compliance inspection or to upgrade your existing electrical setup to make it more practical or usable to accommodate more appliances. These are only done upon request by the client and can be quoted separately if needed.
By law you only require 1 operational light and switch and no set number of plug sockets.

When is an electrical upgrade a Safety Hazard?

electrical safety hazard

electrical safety hazard

A non-compliance or faulty electrical installation is a huge safety hazard. This scenario has the potential to cause damage to your property and possibly harm people through an electrical fire or electrocution.

All circuit breakers and electric wire diameters should be the correct size and rating for the maximum electricity load rating that passes through them.

Its of utmost importance to have the correct circuit breakers and isolators to protect your installation from overload and short circuit faults. These kind of electrical compliance faults are directly related to electricity related fires.

How important is the Electrical Distribution Board?
You are protected from possible electrocution by means of your earth leakage, hence the importance of ensuring the correct ratings.
In all electrical installations, your main electrical DB and switch should be easily accessible in the event of an emergency.
The main DB (Distribution board) is the source of the wiring and electrical installation. All electrical outlets, plugs, lights and other circuits are sourced from here.

Additional Compliance Info
Regulation 7(5) of the Electrical Installation Regulations (OHS ACT of 1993), a change of ownership cannot take place unless there is a valid electrical certificate of compliance.

The compliance certificate in Cape Town is only valid for 2 years. In order for a transfer of ownership to take place a new certificate of compliance will be required. This requires a new electrical compliance inspection to be carried out.

If any electrical modifications or repairs where carried out within the 2 years since the compliance certificate was issued, the original electrical certificate of compliance is null and void and a new compliance inspection needs to be arranged with a new COC compliance certificate issued.