As of May 2009, in line with The Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 or 1993, it became compulsory for all users of any immovable property (residential, commercial and industrial) to have an Electrical Compliance Certificate issued by an accredited electrician; that is one registered with the Electrical Contracting Board of South Africa. The Electrical Compliance Certificate verifies that all electrical work / installations completed on a property are both in line with the regulations set out by the South African National Standard and are reasonably safe.
In line with the legislation, the Certificate cannot be older than two years and is transferable. If the seller of the immovable property is in possession of an Electrical Compliance Certificate and he sells the property, then the certificate is still applicable as long as:
- No electrical wiring / electrical installation alterations have been done since the Certificate was issued; and
- The certificate is not older than 2 years.
In most cases, however, the seller tends to obtain a new certificate for the buyer before the sale is concluded. The seller usually pays for the issue of the Electrical Compliance Certificate, but this can be varied in the sale agreement. If a sale agreement provides that the seller is not required to furnish an Electrical Compliance Certificate, then it should also provide that:
- The purchaser is aware that the Certificate is required in terms of the law; and
- That the purchaser indemnifies the seller against any damages or claims.
The agreement should then specifically authorise the conveyancers to register the transfer without being in possession of an electrical certificate.
It is also important to note that the Electrical Compliance Certificate is not and does not need to be lodged in the Deeds Office, and some municipalities will not put the electrical supply in the purchaser’s name without seeing a copy of the Certificate.