ELECTRIC FENCING LEGISLATION EXISTS WHICH ALLNEW, UPGRADED AND OR REPAIRED ELECTRIC FENCEINSTALLATIONSMUSTCOMPLYWITHASPERthGOVERNMENT GAZETTE No 31454, PUBLISHED THE 25 OFMARCH 2011.
This Legislation came into effect on the 1st of December 2012.
There has been a lot of hype and confusion around the new ElectricFencing Legislation and the implementation thereof.
1. Electric Fencing Legislation is nothing new, having been firstintroduced the 12th August 1988 as per Government Gazette no.R.1593 to which ALL electric fences had to be in compliance of,including subsequent amendments, as published from time totime.
2. Because of continued non-compliance due to an unregulated industryand an inability from the government to enforce said legislation, a newapproach was required.
3. Government’s aim with this new legislation is the following:
3.1.Regulating the electric fencing installation industry;
3.2.The enforcement of existing legislation with innovativelegislation; by
3.2.1.Ensuring that all new fences installed after the 1st ofOctober 2012 was compliant; and3.2.2.Introducing mechanisms to check up on alreadyinstalled fences.
4. Hence the new Legislation as per Government Gazette No. 31454,published the 25th of March 2012.
5. This Legislation came into effect on the 1st of December 2012.
6. In terms of this Legislation, electric fences now require, and must becertified with an EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate ofCompliance). This certificate must be produced on request to anInspector.
7. This certificate is similar to your electrical compliance certificate. Note:Electricians CANNOT issue this certification by default, unlessregistered with the Department of Labour in terms of this Legislation.
8. When is an EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance) required?
The Legislation as to who requires said certification and when, is quite clear:
8.1.This Legislation stipulates that ANY new electric fencinginstallation after 1 December 2012, must be in compliance withsaid Legislation and certified with an EFC (Electric Fence SystemCertificate of Compliance). This certificate must be produced to anInspector on request.
8.2.This Legislation further stipulates that any and all propertytransfers after 1 December 2012, should said property have an electric fence, are subject to, and conditional upon, such an EFC(Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance) being lodgedwith the conveyancing attorney,
8.2.1.Thus, any property with an electric fence installedbefore 1 December 2012 is now to subject to thisLegislation upon sale and transfer.
8.2.2.It is critical to note that all residential and commercialunits, freehold and or sectional title, within town housecomplexes, housing estates, echo parks, business parks, alsofall under this legislation.
188.8.131.52. What this means is that should you wish to sell your property, residential and or commercial, freehold and orsectional title, whichever the case may be, within such acomplex, estate, business park, etc. and you have yourown electric fence, whether access controlled or not, youwill need said certification to effect transfer.
8.3.It is critical to note that sectional titles and similarschemes, being legal entities in their own right, fall under thisLegislation in terms of points 8.1 and 8.4.
8.3.1.You however do not NOT require an EFC (ElectricFence System Certificate of Compliance) from said entity fortheir perimeter electric fence to effect the transfer of your ownproperty within said scheme.
8.3.2.This is, however, currently under review.
8.4.This Legislation goes further stipulating that a Certificateis required when a change and or addition is made to ANYexisting installation as follows:
8.4.1.Restringing of an existing electric fence;
8.4.2.Additions to an electric fence such as extending theelectric fence (even if just by 1 metre);
8.4.3.Major repairs to the electric fence, such as a section ofelectric fencing that has to be replaced (i.e. brackets and wires.Note more than 1 bracket);
8.4.4.Replacing the old energizer with a new one (note, NOTrepairs to, and thereof).
9. When is an EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate ofCompliance) NOT required? The Legislation is quite clear. Acertificate is not required, provided the remainder of the electricfencing remains intact, when:
9.1. Repairing a broken wire;
9.2. Replacing a broken bobbin;
9.3. Repairing the energizer;
9.4. Replacing a lightning arrestor;
9.5. Other repairs of a minor issue.
10. Who can issue said EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate ofCompliance)?
10.1.The Legislation is quite clear, only a registered ElectricFencing Installer, registered with the Department of Labour, canissue said certification. Note: Electricians CANNOT issue thiscertification by default, unless registered with the Department ofLabour in terms of this Legislation.
10.2.Thus, anybody can work on the installation of an electricfence, but only a registered Electric Fencing Installer can issue anEFC (Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance). E.G. Gido.Our installation teams can install, and work on fences as Gido hascertified and registered people in management to issue saidcertification.
11. Who receives the EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate ofCompliance)?
11.1.In the event of a new installation or an upgrade as per point8.4, obviously the person requesting the work;
11.2.In the event of a property sale:
11.2.1.The original Electric Fence System Certificate ofCompliance is given to the buyer of the property; and
11.2.2.A copy to the seller; and
11.2.3.A copy to the attorney / conveyance responsible fortransferring the property ownership.
12. Validity of an EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate ofCompliance).
12.1.Any EFC (Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance) isstrictly valid for two years, where after it has to be renewed,subject to point 8.4 above.
12.1.1.Should any be work be done as per clause 8.4, asupplementary certificate to the original must be reissued.
12.2.During the two year validity period, said certification istransferable, subject to point 8.4 above.
13.The new Legislation In a nutshell:
13.1.Electric fences must comply with SANS (South AfricanNational Standard) 10222-3:2012 Edition 4.1, ElectricalSecurity Installations, Part 3. Some of the topics covered inthe legislation include the following:
13.1.1.Energizer and energizer placement specifications;
13.1.2.Energizer lightning arrestors. All energizers must befitted with lightning arrestors and in the case of securityenergizers, two arrestors must be used. (One on the outputwire and one on the return wire).
13.1.3.Fence and energizer earthing specifications. E.g.besides the fence, the energizer having its own earthingspikes, 3 x 1.2m in length;
13.1.4.Fence construction, e.g. the placement and positioningof brackets;
13.1.5.Specifications regarding the joining of fence wiring /cabling etc.;
13.1.6.Warning signs, specification, type and application;
13.2. All do-it-yourself electric fence installations are outlawed.
13.3. All Electric Fence System installers must be registered.
14.1.Fences are going being inspected and evaluated toensure compliance with this legislation.
14.2.Should a fence found to be non-compliant, it will eitherhave to be upgraded to compliance or the owner will beforced to remove it.
14.3.And yes, if it is not legal you can also be charged criminally. To read about a 69 year old woman from Montagu inthe Western Cape that got a thirty day prison sentence becauseher fence was non-compliant and her subsequent appeal, clickhere.
14.4.To read about current legal action involving a townhouse complex, Royal Ascot Villas, click here. This is aspecifically interesting matter as the father is now suing theTrustees in their personal capacity.
15.In terms of regulating the industry the following:
15.1.The application of, and permanent registration of ElectricFence System Installers with the Department of Labour by no laterthan 1st October 2013, subject to:
15.1.1.In addition to complying with a host ofrequirements;basic
15.1.2.Said Electric Fence System Installer having to pass anexam recognised by the department of higher education.
15.2.Only said registered Electric Fence System Installers will beable to issue EFC’s (Electric Fence Certificates of Compliance).
16. Background facts to, and information, regarding this registration process.
16.1.In terms of this Legislation, the Department of Labour did nothave all the necessary structures in place to facilitate registeringprior to the 1st of December 2012.
16.2.To facilitate this crossover process and to accommodate allelectric fencing installers, estimated at 4000 – 5000 installationentities, corporate and one man shows, the Department of Labourhas taken the following path:
16.2.1.Processing applications for the temporary registration ofinstallers, subject to certain criteria.
16.2.2.These temporary registrations are only valid until theth30 of September 2013, where after they lapse;
16.2.3.During this transition period the temporary registeredinstaller must enrol for an accredited course with thedepartment of higher education, which he has to pass;
16.2.4.And once passed, the temporary registered installer canthen apply for permanent accreditation.
16.2.5.Should he fail to achieve this, his temporary registrationwill lapse, and will it be illegal for him to operate.
16.3.Unfortunately, very few of the installation entitiesmentioned above will be around after the final registrationprocess, for the following reasons:
16.3.1.In terms of the new Legislation, the qualifying criteriaset for the registration of electric fence companies incompliance is extremely high, including registering with theDepartment of Labour, which by implication includescompliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act;
16.3.2.Not to mention the exam criteria set for the personissuing EFC’s (Electric Fence Certificates of Compliance). Thisexam is extremely tough and very few are expected to pass.Bigger companies have already identified and started headhunting possible candidates. These qualified installers willbecome extremely sought after and smaller entities simplycannot afford to pay the expected salaries.
16.3.3.Government anticipates that after this registrationprocess, to be finalised by the 30th of September 2013, therewill be less than 300 registered and accredited Electric FenceSystem Installers, country wide.
17.1.If your electric fence installation was done by Gido Electricfencing, you need NOT be concerned.
17.2.Gido Electric Fencing has always been committed toregulatory and legislative compliance. Because of this commitmentto working “Within the System”, all our electric fence installationshave been in compliance with regulations in force from time totime.
17.3.Depending on the age of your fence, at most, minormodifications and or additions would be required.
18. Having been aware of the proposed legislation for the past 12years, and actively campaigning for it, Gido is already fully compliantwith current statutory requirements and have mechanisms in place toensure compliance of the new legislation.
18.1.Unfortunately, if you had your electric fence done by the guysfrom the local hardware store and / or one of the bakkie brigadeboys, you have reason to be extremely concerned. The chances ofyour fence being compliant are nil. Similarly, if the installation wasdone by a non-specialist company, the ones that do a bit ofeverything i.e. gate motors, intercoms, garage doors, any of thearmed response companies (who use sub-contractors) etc., thechances are extremely slim that the installation was done tolegislative specification. The reason is quite simple: electricfencing is not their core business.
19. Now that you are aware of the facts, KNOW WHAT YOU AREDOING. Do your homework. Make sure you appoint an accreditedand registered installation company who knows what they are doing,or you are going to end up paying dearly for that electric fence.
20. Gido has been pushing for legislation in the electric fencingindustry for the past 12 years and supports the new legislation 100%
21. Remember the legislation is there for you, the consumer. It isthere to protect you, ensuring that you get an installation thatmeets the highest standards, protecting you and your family.Know who you are dealing with – Know what you are getting