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An Electrical Certificate of Compliance or CoC is a legal document that confirms the electrical installation is safe for use and that it does not pose a threat to any human or animal or the property, and that the electrical installation is compliant with all legal requirements stipulated in the Electrical Installations Occupational Health and Safety Act. The electrical CoC verifies that:

  • All your electrical circuits are functioning correctly.
  • Your premises does not have any potential electric shock risks or fire hazards.
  • Your premises does not have any defective electrical work. work.
  • That the building or home has been correctly earthed and bonded.

Who Needs an electrical coc

Legally no person is allowed to advertise their property for sale without a valid CoC. The estate agent needs to ensure that an owner has a CoC when the property is listed on the market. As pointed out by the Electrical Conformance Board –  the “user or lessor” must have a valid certificate. Without it your insurance and even your bond could be invalidated if you wish to make a claim.

The law doesn’t necessarily put the onus on the property owner, and if you are the user or lessor then you could open yourself up to a counter claim from the property owner if you manage the property and you do not have a valid certificate.


Regulation 7(5) states: Subject to the provisions of section 10(4) of the Act, the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate of compliance is older than two years.


However, if there is no change of ownership, a CoC is valid for the lifetime of an installation but excludes maintenance items, and if any alterations have been done to the electrical installation, the owner/lessor must obtain a supplementary CoC according to clause 7(4), which states: Where any addition or alteration has been made to an electrical installation for which a certificate of compliance was previously issued, the user or lessor of such electrical installation shall obtain a certificate of compliance for at least the addition or alteration.


Only a “Registered Person” is permitted by law to issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC),  and only after the Registered Person has thoroughly inspected and tested the electrical installation.


A Registered Person is a qualified electrician/electrical engineer who has demonstrated competence through a number of training interventions as well as passing the “Unit Standard” testing process which is a Department of Labour (DoL) requirement before a Wiremans License is issued by the DoL.


A CoC must be issued whenever a solar system has been added to the property’s electrical system. The CoC must be issued before the solar system is brought into operation.


However, a CoC for the addition of a solar system can only be issued if there is already an existing valid CoC for the entire electrical installation. If a valid CoC does not already exist, a Registered Person must provide a new CoC for the property’s entire electrical installation, including the solar system. 


A common misconception in South Africa is that any company selling solar installation services is allowed to do the installation. This is not the case! A solar installation company is prohibited by Law from doing any electrical work, including solar installations unless the company is a registered Electrical Contractor with the Department of Labour, and employ’s at least one Registered Person (qualified electrician with a wiremans licence).


It is common practice for these companies to subcontract the issuing of a CoC to a third-party electrician. This practice is illegal and could render your CoC invalid. In other words, installation companies that are not registered electrical contractors are prohibited from doing the solar installation and subcontracting a third-party electrician to simply issue a CoC. The installation company must have a Registered Person employed full time by the installation company who must supervise and be present on site for the entire installation from start to finish. 


Be cautious of electricians claiming to be Qualified Electricians or Red Seal Qualified and thereby convincing unsuspecting buyers that they are permitted to install solar systems – they are not, and you could jeopardise your property insurance or bond. A red seal qualification is only one of the many requirements before becoming a Registered Person permitted to install,oversee & supervise the solar installation and issue a valid CoC. Always ask the Installation company to provide their Department of Labour Electrical Contractors registration certificate as well as the electrician’s (Registered Person) wiremans license. 


After you have made an appointment with Solar Electric Africa to have an inspection on your property’s electrical installation we will arrive promptly on the agreed day.


Please be aware that the electrician will need to access every corner of your property that forms part of the electrical installation. This includes all living areas, including bedrooms, bathrooms and outbuildings. Therefore, please ensure all personal belongings and valuables are safely stored away and advise others on the property that we will be wandering throughout the property while conducting the inspection and tests.


The electrician will need to switch off the electricity supply to the property in order to conduct certain tests and the electricity supply will be switched on and off a number of times during the inspection. Therefore, please ensure any data files on computers have been saved and preferably shut down all computers if possible. The electrician will also need to unplug any appliances for the duration of the inspection.


Please do not attempt to restore power yourself while the electrician is conducting tests – this could be fatal but there will be warning notices placed at the Main DB.


Appliances and furniture might need to be moved by the electrician in order to gain access to wall plugs and switches.  We will also need to take off wall sockets and light switch covers in order to thoroughly inspect the electrical installation. We will need access into the ceiling/loft area to inspect wiring and geyser compliance.


Once the electrician has concluded the inspection and the electrical installation inspection has passed all tests and deemed to be a safe installation, the electrician will issue a yellow CoC certificate. A white certificate may be issued as a supplementary certificate. A blue certificate will be issued for common area reticulation, for example the common areas withing a town house complex, estate or office park.


If however the installation fails the inspection and is deemed to be not compliant, the electrician will not issue a CoC. In this instance the electrician will provide a defects report and a quotation to rectify any non-conformance’s. The quotation and scope of work to repair the defects  will take 2 to 3 days to prepare. Only once the defects have been rectified will the electrician issue the CoC.’s


The electrical CoC inspection covers: 

  • All wiring and equipment in the main distribution board including sub boards, circuit breakers, earth leakage etc.
  • The earthing system and earthing continuity throughout the installation.
  • Bonding of all metal components (solar panels, antennas and satellite dishes).
  • Wall socket outlets and light switches. 
  • All isolators for fixed appliances.
  • All cabling from the distribution boards to switches and wall plugs.
  • All circuits and wiring to any fixed appliances, excluding the actual appliance itself.
  • Verifying the position of light switches and wall plugs in relation to baths, showers and taps.
  • Accessibility and height above the floor of the main switch and isolators in case of emergencies.
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment in the installation is SABS approved or other relevant approvals.
  • Ensuring all electrical wiring and equipment is correct type and rating for the application.
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment has been installed in an approved manner.
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment is suitably protected and is not accessible without using the appropriate tool or key.
  • Ensuring that all parts of the electrical installation is safe and in good working order.
  • Conduct all required inspections and testing to ensure voltage, insulation and earthing comply with the SANS 10142-1 regulations.


The electrical CoC inspection does not cover: 

  • The electrician issuing the COC does not service or upgrade the electrical installation. The electrician only ensures that what is already installed in your home is operational, complies with regulations, and is deemed safe.

    Your Certificate of Compliance also does not cover upgrades to electrical installations in older homes. According to regulations, each room in your home only requires a minimum of one operational light. There are no regulations stating that a home must have a certain minimum number of socket outlets per room, or a number of plug circuits. In some cases even the old fuse boards are still deemed perfectly 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. This includes items such as: 

    • ovens / stoves / hobs.
    • geysers.
    • air conditioning units.
    • swimming pool pumps.
    • bore hole pumps.
    • pond pumps.
    • pool lights.
    • garage and gate motors.
    • HVAC systems.
    • alarms.
    • wall heaters.
    • motors.
    • fans.
    • underfloor heating.
    • any other fixed appliances.

    Your Certificate of Compliance does not include temporary installations. This means that it does not cover something that can simply be unplugged and removed by hand, and that was clearly intended for temporary use only. 

    That being said, if you have performed the installation in such a manner as to indicate that it is intended for permanent usage, then it will need to be done according to regulation.

WHAT are my next steps

Now that you have a basic understanding of what is involved with the electrical CoC inspection, the team at Solar Electric Africa are eagerly awaiting your call to provide you with a professional electrical service and once you have been handed your CoC proudly issued by one of our competent electricians you will have peace of mind that your electrical installation is 100% safe and compliant with the regulations stipulated by the Department of Labour.