South African property owners are now required by law to ensure that all new electric fence systems, or changes to existing systems, are compliant with safety regulations. Previously there were no regulations governing electric fences.
The new regulation (the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act No. 85 of 1993, Regulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations) imposes an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have an electric fence system certificate of compliance.
The requirement to have an electric fence system compliance certificate does not apply to a system in existence prior to 1 October 2012.
However, as with an electrical compliance certificate, a compliance certificate will be required where an addition or alteration is made to the system, or if there is a change of ownership of the property – if the change of ownership takes place after 1 October 2012.
The electric fence system certificate is separate from an electrical compliance certificate.
It will now be necessary for estate agents to include an appropriate clause in sale agreements concluded after 1 October 2012 – if there is an electric fence system on the property. A transfer registered after 1 October 2012 will also trigger the obligation to provide a certificate.
According to attorney Chrizenda Gunther, It will therefore be necessary to arrange for the issue of an electric fence system certificate if there is an electric fence system on a property that is currently in the process of being transferred.
The certificate of compliance for an electric fence is transferable. Once it has been issued, there is no need to obtain a new certificate upon a change of ownership, says Gunther.