Electric fences need certificate of compliance

Private Property South Africa

Recently certain parts of the Electrical Machinery Regulations (issued in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act) became operational. Of relevance to the property industry are the provisions that require the issuing of a Certificate of Compliance in respect of electric fencing.

The wording of the regulation is complicated, but in essence it requires that any user or lessor of an electric fence system must be in possession of an Electric Fence System Certificate.

The good news is that:

  • it is not required for installations effected before 1 October 2012, unless the installation was changed in the meantime, or if there was a change in ownership after this date;

  • the Department granted a reprieve and now require compliance with these provisions only by 1 December 2012; and

  • the certificate is transferable; so once obtained, it can be transferred from one owner to a next.

The Department of Labour advised that there are still teething problems with the implementation of these provisions and it appears likely that further amendments to the requirements may still be forthcoming. We will keep you updated.

In the meantime, provision should be made for an appropriate clause in a sale agreement either to obtain such certificate if none is in existence, or to transfer the existing certificate to the purchaser.

Please contact Nicholas Hayes at Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes attorneys by telephone on (021) 673 4700 or email at nicholash@stbb.co.za if you have any further questions in this regard.

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