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Electric fencing certificates, an additional requirement when selling immovable property

19th June 2013

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When selling residential properties, property owners must not only provide electric compliance certificates for the house electrics, but should also provide an electric fence compliance certificate if the fence was erected from December 2012.

The recent changes to the Electrical Machinery Regulations, place a duty on every user of an electric fencing system, to obtain an electric fence compliance certificate.

These regulations do not apply to electric fence systems which were erected prior to 1 December 2012 except when any additions, energizer changed or alterations are effected to the existing electric fencing systems to that date.

When there is a change of ownership on the property and the electric fence was erected prior to 1 December 2012, sellers are merely required to get a compliance certificate which states that the electric fence is in good working order and cannot be easily touched by accident and complied with the legislation at the time the electric fence was installed.

Electric fence owners can ensure that the fence is in good working order by conducting general maintenance on such electric fences.  The maintenance generally consists of clearing the fence of all vegetation and debris that could cause high-voltage pulses and that could lower the effectiveness of the fence, tightening wires that are visibly slackened and fixing all broken parts of the fence.

Electric fences erected after 1 December 2012 have to comply with the Electrical Security Installations Regulations (SANS 10222-3:2012) which provide that, electrical fences should have joints which are taped with water proofing tapes, dedicated plugs, 3 earth spikes near the energizer with the lightning protection and thereafter 1 earth spike every 30 metres and have sign boards every 10 metres as well as on every gate.

Electric fence certificates can only be issued by registered persons, who are approved by the chief inspector.  The chief inspector issues all registered persons with a certificate of registration which certificate will be entered onto their database.  Your local security company will be able to provide you with the contact details of registered installers.

A template of the electric fencing certificate can be found in the Regulations.  Electric fence certificates are transferrable provided that the certificate is less than two years old.

Sellers should bear in mind that an electrical fencing certificate is distinct from an electrical compliance certificate; it is therefore an added requirement if the property has an electric fencing system. 

By Lynn Cresswell, director and Samantha Arends, candidate attorney – Norton Rose Fulbright

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