Chris Fick & Associates

article-8-july-bOn the sale of immovable property a number of compliance certificates are required either by law or as a matter of standard practice.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993 (OHS Act) and the Regulations promulgated in terms thereof provide for an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC), Electric Fence Systems Certificate (EFSC) and Gas Installation Certificate (GIC).

Regulation 7(1) of the Electrical Installation Regulations stipulates that “every user or lessor of an electrical installation, as the case may be, shall have a valid certificate of compliance “and” the user or lessor may not allow a change of ownership if the certificate of compliance is older than two years”.

Regulation 12 of the Electric Machinery Regulations imposes an obligation on “every user or lessor” of an electric fence system to have an EFSC and “if there is a change of ownership ………………….

the user or lessor shall obtain an electric fence system certificate”.

The EFSC is separate from the ECOC and is therefore an additional requirement where there is an electric fence system on a property.

The Pressure Equipment Regulations of the OHS Act requires that a user of any gas appliances on a property, such as a gas stove or gas fireplace, to obtain a GIC after completion of a gas installation, modification, alteration or change of user or ownership.

In the area of jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town a Water/Plumbing Certificate is required to be submitted to the municipality by the owner in terms of the Water By-Law 2010 after water and plumbing installations have been installed or when a property is sold.

It is standard practice for purchasers in coastal areas to require properties to be inspected for oxypleuris nodierei and hylotrupes bajulus beetles and for a so-called Beetle Certificate to be issued.

While sale agreements would ordinarily provide for a seller of property to provide and pay for the ECOC, EFSC and GIC and such repairs that may have to be effected to enable the certificates to be issued, Section 10(4) of the OHS Act makes it possible for a purchaser or tenant to accept responsibility therefor.

Provision for a Beetle Certificate is purely contractual between parties and the Water/Plumbing Certificate is the owner’s (seller’s) responsibility, but by agreement a purchaser can also accept responsibility therefor.

For an ECOC or EFSC to be valid, it must be issued by an electrician registered with the Electrical Contractors Association with a Wireman’s Licence and Wireman’s Board Registration Certificate. A GIC is issued by an authorised person registered with the Liquified Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa.  A Beetle Certificate is issued by a registered entomologist and the Water/Plumbing Certificate by an accredited plumber.

Although the costs of these certificates can in certain instances be substantial they can be vitally important for insurance claims resulting from fire, gas leaks or electrical faults.

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Source Reference:
Thys Seyffert (

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