Electrical Compliance Certificates

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What is an Electrical Compliance Certificate?

An Electrical Compliance Certificate is a document that confirms that all electrical installations in a building, including plugs, lights, distribution boards (DB), geysers, and wiring, meet the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s regulatory requirements.

Property owners are obligated to obtain a valid Electrical Certificate of Compliance before a change of property ownership occurs, as per the Occupational Health and Safety ACT of 1993. In order to get this certificate, your electrical installations must comply with SANS 10142-1 Regulations.

The Electrical CoC is required to verify that all electrical work and installations in a domestic or commercial property are in good working order and up to standard.


The Occupational Health & Safety Act prescribes, through the Electrical Installation Regulations, who may carry out electrical installation work and, in this way, protects users of electrical dangers. These regulations also give protection to the public by means of an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC). Every user or lessor of an installation is obliged to possess an electrical COC and should ideally be provided every time a house changes ownership.

Read more about Electrical Safety and the function of the Electrical CoC in our blog “Electrical Safety and the Homeowner”:

Electrical certificate of compliance (CoC)
Why Do You Need An Electrical CoC?

It is important to obtain an electrical COC to ensure that the electrical installation is safe for use and complies with the safety regulations. Without a COC, you may face legal and insurance issues if an electrical incident occurs in your property. In addition, when selling or leasing a property, an electrical COC is usually required by law to ensure the safety of the occupants.

No person may market, sell, let, or supply an electrical installation that is unsafe. The onus has been placed on the homeowner (seller) to ensure that a faulty or non-compliant electrical installation in his/her house does not pose a safety threat to any person, animal, or property. Should an injury or incident occur and there is no COC in place, the homeowner could be held liable and the insurance on the house could be declared invalid, and you’ll be responsible for any damages incurred.

The seller of a property is therefore obligated to obtain a COC before transfer of the property from a legitimate contractible company which complies with all the criteria as stipulated by the authorities, and conforms to the latest Code of Practice.

Any person who owns any type of electrical installation should – at all times – be in possession of a valid Certificate of Compliance.

How Long Is The Electrical CoC Valid For?
  • The Electrical CoC is valid for the lifetime of an installation unless a change of ownership occurs or any additions or alterations are made to the installation since the CoC was issued.
  • If changes were made since the original CoC was issued, then a registered electrician would need to issue a supplementary certificate for the alterations, extensions or maintenance undertaken by them.
  • The EIR (Electrical Installation Regulations) states that a Certificate of Compliance is valid for 2 years for the purpose of the transfer of ownership. Regulation 7(5) states: Subject to 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 2 years.
What Is Covered By The Electrical CoC?

It is crucial to understand that the DB board, or distribution board, of your residence/property serves as the heart of your electrical setup and installation. From this point, the incoming power supply to your mains is further distributed among the various plug, light, and other circuits. Circuit breakers serve as protection against overload and short-circuit faults, which can cause electrical fire hazards, while the earth leakage unit (ELU) on your DB (Distribution Board) prevents potential electrocution hazards. It is important to ensure that the circuit breakers and wire size are appropriately rated based on the maximum amount of electricity that the connected circuit may be expected to carry. At a minimum, regulations require the main switch to be easily accessible in case of emergencies, though it is recommended that the entire board be easily accessible in case of electrical emergencies.

The below forms part of the Electrical CoC:

  • Everything in the main distribution board and any sub boards, i.e. circuit breakers, earth leakage etc.;
  • The earthing system and connectivity throughout the installation;
  • Bonding of all metal components (antennas and satellite dishes);
  • Socket outlets and light switches;
  • All isolators for fixed appliances;
  • All the wiring from the mains incoming point to the main distribution board;
  • All the wiring from the distribution boards to switches and plugs (including the wall plugs and light switches, through to the connection at the lights);
  • All circuits and wiring to any fixed appliances, even if they are plugged into a wall socket (excluding the actual appliance itself);
  • Positioning of electrical equipment (e.g. light switches and plugs that may not be within a certain distance of taps, shower, baths etc.);
  • Mains switch and their accessibility within an approved height from the floor in case of emergencies;
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment in the installation is approved by SABS or other relevant standard regulation authorities
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment in the installation be of the correct type and rating for the application;
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment is installed in an the approved manner;
  • Ensuring that all electrical equipment is securely attached in place and suitably protected from little fingers gaining access;
  • Ensuring that all parts of the permanent electrical installation is in good working order (including safety features);
  • An electrician will also take various readings to ensure that voltages, insulation, earthing, and other values adhere to regulatory requirements.

What Is NOT Covered By The Electrical CoC?
  • Temporary installations, meaning something that can simply be unplugged and removed by hand, and that was clearly intended for temporary use only (i.e. extension cords). If you have performed an electrical installation in such a manner that it is intended for permanent usage, then it will need to be done according to regulation or otherwise removed.
  • Fixed home appliances are 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. Fixed home appliances would include, but are not limited to; ovens, stoves and hobs, air conditioning units, swimming pool pumps, bore hole pumps, pool lights, garage and gate motors, pond pumps, HVAC systems, alarms, wall heaters, geysers, underfloor heating.

A common misconception is that the registered electrician appointed to issue an Electrical COC is expected to service or upgrade the electrical installation, while in actual fact s/he merely ensures that what is already installed in your home is operational, complies with regulations, and is deemed safe. According to regulations, each room in your home only requires a minimum of one operational light, while there are no regulations mentioning the minimum amount of plug circuits or socket outlets.

The Procedure and Cost of an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC)


The price of an electrical COC inspection is usually a fixed fee depending on which legitimate contractible company you appointed for the COC inspection/s.

At Bugs & Sparks we offer a very competitive inspection fee of R550. Further discounts are applicable when multiple COC inspections are requested for the same property (i.e. Beetle, Gas, Plumbing or Electric Fence).



Electricians cannot issue COC’s based on the work of others as the certificate also serves as a guarantee on materials and workmanship.

Please note the inspection fee is a consultation fee, and not a certificate fee (although Bugs & Sparks does not charge an additional fee for the COC). The fees, therefore, remain payable irrespective of who ultimately issues the certificate.

  • Complete our online inspection instruction form, and our back-office will make contact and arrange a convenient day & time for the inspection/s to take place.
  • After our qualified inspectors have assessed your electrical installation, we will notify you of any necessary repairs or adjustments to ensure compliance with the Code of Practice and relevant SANS regulations. 
  • Bugs & Sparks will provide a digital inspection report, including pictures, that details all the faults the inspector picked up.
  • Bugs & Sparks will then provide you with a comprehensive quote for the required electrical work to obtain COC compliance.
  • Once you (the client) agrees to the quote, our electricians will carry out the necessary work, after which we will issue a new electrical certificate (COC).
  • OR, if you don’t accept our quote, you can choose to engage another qualified electrician/company to perform the work and issue the COC. In this case, the inspection fees are still payable to Bugs & Sparks.
Do you need an Electrical COC?