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Tough new laws for electric fences.

Home > Advice> Home Owners> Tough new laws for electric fences
(Recent article on Property24)

18 Feb 2013

Non-compliant electric fencing is now also illegal in South Africa and property owners – including homeowners, body corporate's and businesses – are at risk if someone gets hurt because their electric fence installation is faulty, or non-compliant, says John Graham chief executive office of House Check.

From 1 December 2012 all new, upgraded and repaired electric fence installations in South Africa must be compliant and the government has now established strict new regulations for this industry.

If you had your electric fence done by the guys from the local hardware store or one of the bakkie brigade boys, you have reason to be concerned.

The chances of your fence being compliant are low, he says.

Similarly, if the installation was done by a non-specialist company, the ones that do a bit of everything (gate motors, intercoms, garage doors, some of the armed response companies, who use sub-contractors), then the chances are fairly slim that the installation has been done to legislative specification.

The reason is quite simple: electric fencing is not their core business.

From 1 December 2012 all new, upgraded and repaired electric fence installations in South Africa must be compliant and the government has now established strict new regulations for this industry.

By 1 October 2013, all electric fence installers must be registered after first passing a tough exam.

The new law says that electric fences must now be certified with an electric fence system certificate of compliance (EFC).

Graham says this certificate is similar to the electrical compliance certificate which all property owners must have.

However, electricians cannot issue this electric fence certification – unless the electrician is also qualified in terms of the new electric fence laws and has been registered with the Department of Labour.

In terms of this new law, all properties with an electric fence can only be transferred after 1 December 2012, if an EFC has been lodged with the conveyancing attorney, explains Graham.

All residential and commercial units, freehold and or sectional title, within townhouse complexes, housing estates, echo parks, business parks, also fall under this legislation.

Although sectional title properties do not require an EFC to effect transfer, body corporate's and business entities are still legally responsible for any electric fence installation on the property and can be sued and prosecuted for non-compliance – especially if someone gets hurt.

A certificate is also required when a change and or addition is made to an existing installation - such as re stringing an electric fence, or any additions to an electric fence.

Graham says a certificate is not required when repairing a broken wire, replacing a broken bobbin, repairing the energizer, replacing a lightning arrestor, or other repairs of a minor issue.

Should a fence be found to be non-compliant, it will either have to be upgraded to compliance or the owner will be forced to remove it.

Electrical fence installers must pass new examinations and be registered with the Department of Labour by 1 October 2013.

So it’s goodbye to the bakkie brigade of cowboy electric fence installers and there are an estimated 4 000 electric fence installers operating in South Africa at present.

According to Douglas Deerans of the SA Electrical Fencing Installers Association, government anticipates that once the registration process is finalised by 1 October 2013 there will be less than 300 registered and accredited electric fence system installers countrywide.

Some of the topics covered in the new legislation include: energiser and energiser placement specifications, energiser lightning arrestors which must be fitted to all energisers, fence and energiser earthing specifications (the energiser must have its own earthing spike), the placement and positioning of brackets, specifications regarding the joining of fence wiring /cabling; and warning signs.

Electric Fence Inspection and Electric Fence Certificates-Cape Town.

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NEWSFLASH:   Read More
Communal Electric Fence Regulations.

Download our pdf document, explaining the various inspections and procedures.


The Techno Group has been providing professional Electric Fence Inspections and Electric Fence Certificates since it became a requirement, based in Durbanville servicing the Cape Town, Helderberg and Boland areas.

SAFETY: Unlike the electric power in your home, the energiser powers the LIVE WIRES in “pulses”, on/off every second and therefore is termed a “non-lethal” electric fence. The LIVE WIRES when touched will give a really nasty shock but will not kill! The low amperage is measured in “joules”.


Wall Height: Minimum wall height of private property to be secured - 1.5 metres.

Brackets: Upright brackets may be used without any height restriction.

Angled brackets: Brackets can be angled at no more than 45 degrees out and are to be installed on the inside of the boundary wall.

Neighbours:  It is not permissible to angle brackets into a neighbour’s property without their knowledge or consent.

Hazard:  Electrified fences are to be installed and operated so that they cause no electrical hazard or entanglement to persons or animals.

Barbed wire or razor wire: These shall not be electrified by an energiser.

Warning Signs: Electric fencing installed along a public road or pathway shall be securely identified with YELLOW WARNING SIGNS (100 x 200 cm) at intervals not exceeding 10 metres. All gates and access points to have warning signs.

Electrified Gates: To be capable of being opened/closed without the person receiving a shock.

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