SAPAC Guide to the Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC)

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

Ultimately Absolutely Everything You Need to know about getting a Electrical Certificate of Compliance!

Prepared by : SAPAC Reporter
Article Classification: Information 
Image courtesy: SAPAC 

 

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 SAPAC The Role of SAPAC

For those considering selling or renting commercial property, obtaining an electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) is not just a recommendation; it's a legal requirement. This essential document, which can only be issued by a qualified, registered electrician, serves a critical purpose in the real estate market.

The primary function of an Electrical Certificate of Compliance is to verify that all electrical work and installations in your home are not only in proper working order but also compliant with safety and quality standards. An electrical compliance certificate remains valid for the lifetime of an electrical installation unless there are any electrical modification or electrical alterations performed . In such an instance a supplementary Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be issued by a registered electrical contractor. Be sure to contact SAPAC professionals and contractors to find out more in the correct selection of your electrical contractors.  It's important to note that properties with electric fences require an additional Electrical Fence System Compliance Certificate.

"If bartering on a legal certificate as a legal requirement is performed there is a strong indication that something is amiss - Electrician"

(Also Read)

South African Landlords Estate Agents and Tenants

 

Who Requires an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC)?

Before a homeowner can put their property on the market, obtaining an Electrical Certificate of Compliance  is a crucial step. This process involves a thorough inspection to ensure that all electrical elements within the property meet the necessary standards. Without a valid COC, selling a property can be a challenging endeavour.

What is the Key to Smooth Industrial and Commercial renting and selling.

The Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) is a regulatory (legal) necessity, and property owners lessor and estate agents should ensure they comply to avoid any legal complications in the selling or leasing process. Contractual agreements cannot replace the regulations in the Electrical Installation Regulation in OHSAS.

Why does the Electrical Certificate of compliance (COC) seem so Expensive?

First let us ask this question the other way around. What occupation are you? Are you a Business owner or are you an estate agent? I refer you the following quote

"If bartering on a legal certificate as a legal requirement is performed there is a strong indication that something is amiss - Electrician"

To be an Electrician in South Africa, these are the steps for this Professional Trade. (NQF Level 3,4,6)

1. They obtain a matric certificate or equivalent through a college. Or they may attend a technical high school. In the technical high school they may complete N3
2. They then enrol into a recognized technical college or apprenticeship program and complete a National Certificate in Electrical Engineering (N1-N6) or equivalent training centre. 
3. They gain practical experience trough an apprenticeship or by working as an assistant or semi skilled electrician aid.
4. They then write their trade test for electricians, which is required for all electrical certifications in South Africa.
5. They then obtain their wireman's licence
5. They then register with the Department of Labour as a Single phase electrician.
6. They then register a business, open up key accounts open a business bank loan and an office, obtain public liability insurance. Appoint a book keeper.
7. And consider obtaining additional certifications to increase their professional standing within the industry to take on more complex jobs. 

What Landlords, Estate Agents and Tenants are advised with regards to the Electrical Certificate of Compliance - COC

Landlords, Estate Agents and Tenants are well advised of the following. You cannot barter on an Electrical Certificate of Compliance. In doing so you are wasting first of all your own time, the Electrical Contractors time. And you may end up with a subpar inspection from someone claiming to be an electrician that may have falsified paper work. This is the reality of South Africa. 

What is exactly covered within an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC)?

If the following is not present you should note with concern that you do require the following:
1. Electrical diagram of the entire installation
2. Photos of the installation to corroborate the inspection performed by the competent electrician.
3. Then the Certificate of Compliance (CoC) 

NOTE: A certificate of compliance will consist of the location of the DB (Distribution Board) and there will be test sheets for each supply. In other words for every supply. In other words two DBs two test sheets (Example) So if you have one CoC you should be concerned. If you have more than two DBs in your business or home! 

You see, an electrical (CoC) is not just the piece of Paper it is a legal document and legal requirement. 

The Electrician will give you a fixed fee for the size of the property. Small dwelling normally start at R2,500.00 then thereafter fee per hour 

Normative legal Call out Fee ranges from R2,500.00 
Then the time to perform the COC (Certificate of Compliance Inspection) can range from R950,00 to R750,00 per hour!  Keep in mind if the electrician needs to change and alter or rectify any work this is extra. A competent electrician will take photos and perform the CoC inspection thoroughly! A full complete file will be compiled.  

You have paid R2,500.00 just to get the electrician to your dwelling, And you wonder why they charge so much so let us look at why indeed a legal Electrical Certificate of Compliance cost so much. First of all: 

Electricians cannot issue COCs based on the work of others as the certificate also serves as a guarantee on materials and workmanship. Please note the inspection fee is a consultation fee, and not a certificate fee. The fees, therefore, remain payable irrespective of who ultimately issues the certificate.


Note: Electricians has full authority to make a commercial property or dwelling safe, this means they will, shall and must cooperate on a matter of mutual concern with the proper authorities if something is not right in terms of the OHSAS and the EIR

It may sound hard, but compliance with the Electrical Installation Regulations is non negotiable!  

A electrical certificate of compliance cover the following

  1. Main Distribution Board including any sub boards, circuit breakers, earth leakages,
  2. Earthing system and connectivity throughout the installation.
  3. Bonds of all metal components (antennas and satellite dishes)
  4. All socket outlets and light switches throughout the commercial property or dwelling.
  5.  All fixed appliances and all isolators.
  6. All the cables from the mains incoming point  to the main distribution board.
  7. All the cabling from the distribution boards to the electrical switches, electrical plugs, wall plugs, light switches, right all the way through to the connection at the lights.
  8. Circuit and wiring to any fixed appliances even if they are plugged into a wall socket, excluding the actual appliance.  
  9. The position of electrical equipment like plugs and switches may not be within a certain distance to showers, taps, gas installations and baths.
  10. The main electrical switch and the accessibility within the required from the floor in case of emergencies. 
  11. Verifying all electrical equipment in the installation conforms and is approved by SABS or other relevant approvals and ensuring it is of the correct type and rating for the application.
  12. Verifying and ensuring the electrical installed is installed in an approved manner.
  13. Verifying and ensuring all the electrical equipment installed is attached and securely in place and is coherently and suitably protected for children's safety.
  14. Verifying and ensuring that all parts of any permanent electrical installation is in good operational working conditions, and checking that safety features is operational.
  15. Verifying and taking electrical readings to satisfy themselves that the electrical installation complies to the expected voltages, earthing, insulations including other values that must and should adhere to regulatory requirements as is specified. 

What you get from a SAPAC Electrical Contractor?

When you are placed in contact with a SAPAC Electrical Contractor you know that you have full recourse and that SAPAC will assist you free of charge should there be any issues. SAPAC Electricians carries a range of accreditations and to become a SAPAC Electrician is the ultimate goal for any electrician. Seeing that our Mission and Objectives as a Collective speaks volumes with regards to how business operations is conducted and expected within regulations and specified standards.

What is excluded from an Electrical Certificate of Compliance? 

The registered electrical contractor, that will be issuing your Electrical Certificate of Compliance is not there to service or upgrade your existing electrical installation. The Electrical Contractor main objective is to ensure that what is already in your commercial property or dwelling is complying with regulations and is operational and is then deemed and signed of safe by themselves. 

The Electrical Certificate of Compliance also do not cover any new additions or upgrades that you want to your commercial business property or dwelling. In line with and in accordance with regulations each room or office space requires operational lighting. There is also no regulation preventing you to have a minimum number of electrical socket outlets per area or room neither a number of plug circuits. In very rare cases old fuse boards are still deemed legal.

Fixed home appliances are only checked in order to ensure that they are connected to the installation via approved means, rather than making sure that they are in working condition.

Why do I need a Electrical Certificate of Compliance COC

 The necessity for a property owner to possess an electrical compliance certificate is overseen by the Electrical Installation Regulations stipulated under the Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 85 of 1993, often referred to as "OHSA." 

When is an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) required?

Regulations explicitly prohibit transferring property ownership if the compliance certificate is over two years old. This underscores the importance of maintaining safe electrical installations in rental properties. Hence, when a tenant vacates, they should provide an Electrical Certificate of Compliance COC to the lessor, who must conduct a thorough inspection aligned with regulations.  

Where do I obtain a COC (Electrical Certificate of Compliance)

You can contact SAPAC - South African Professionals and Contractors to assist you to getting in contact with reliable Electrical Contractors for free anywhere in South Africa. 

How do I check if a COC is fake - Fake Electrical Certificate of Compliance

 It is true that fake Electrical Certificates of Compliances is in the market. That is why - Landlords, Estate Agents and Tenants are well advised of the following. You cannot barter on an Electrical Certificate of Compliance. 

Remember understand: The price of an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC) is affected by the quantity of Rooms and the size of the installation. Starting price is R2,500.00 and this does not include everything. 

**Pricing does vary

How long is a COC valid (Electrical Certificate of Compliance)

An electrical compliance certificate remains valid for the lifetime of an electrical installation unless there are any electrical modification or electrical alterations performed . In such an instance a supplementary Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be issued by a registered electrical contractor. Be sure to contact SAPAC professionals and contractors to find out more in the correct selection of your electrical contractors. 






    

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