What is and what is NOT covered by the Electric Fence Certificate?

Welcome to the fifth and final newsletter in our extremely popular “Certificates Explained” series.

Spring day is upon us and yet another year is racing towards it's imminent conclusion, let's hope the warmer incoming summer weather brings with it the usual increase in activity in the property market.
We have already covered the Plumbing, Electrical, Beetle and Gas Certificates in earlier articles, for those of you who missed them, they are still available on the below links.


Electrical Certificates Explained.


Plumbing Certificates Explained.


Beetle Certificates Explained.


Gas Certificates Explained.


This time around we’ll cover the Electric Fence Compliance Certificate.


Gas Compliance Certificates

When is an Electric Fence Certificate required?

As of 1 October 2012 it became a legal requirement for any Electric Fence installation to be installed by an approved installer and a Compliance Certificate be issued for such installations as per the below regulations.


The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (the Act) regarding electric fences. Regulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 2011 imposes an obligation on the user of an electric fence system to have an electric fence system certificate of compliance. .


The requirement does not apply to a system in existence prior to 1 October 2012. However, as with an electrical compliance certificate, this certificate will be required where an addition or alteration is effected to the system or where there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the system exists if the change of ownership takes place after 1 October 2012.


Electric Fence Compliance Certificate Cost

Electric Fence Compliance Certificate Cost.

What does an Electric Fence Compliance Certificate Cost?

Just like all the other Certificates we cannot tell you up front what the overall cost of an Electric Fence Compliance Certificate may be, until such time as we have performed the Electric Fence Inspection.


What we can tell you upfront is what the Electric Fence Inspection will cost, as per our Inspection Fees.


Once we have performed the Electric Fence Inspection we will know if any remedial work is required. If your Electric Fence Installation is Compliant and NO further rectifications are required a New Electric Fence Certificate will be issued to you at no additional charge over and above the initial Electric Fence Inspection Fee.


However, should remedial work be required to make your Electric Fence Installation Compliant we will issue you with a detailed report on the work required and the cost thereof.


Upon acceptance of this quotation we will complete the required rectifications after which we will issue you with a New Electric Fence Certificate.


too much gas on premises

Warning signs must be visible on public electric fences.

What is checked during an Electric Fence Inspection?

As with all the different Compliance Certificates there are certain items that must be, or made, compliant before we can issue the Compliance Certificate. While we cannot list the entire regulation book here, for lack of space we can list some of the more pertinent items.


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. .


What is NOT covered by the Electric Fence Certificate?

As with all the Compliance Certificates there are limits as to what we and the seller are responsible for in order for a Compliance Certificate to be issued.


We are limited to whatever regulations are in place at the time of the inspection. It is important to note that there is a big difference in issuing a Compliance Certificate and "servicing, upgrading or restoring" an Electric Fence Installation. (Similar to roadworthy versus servicing or restoring a car.)


The primary concern of the Electric Fence Compliance Certificate is SAFETY.

We are not concerned with non compliance issues such as:

Adequate security, we do not add to the Electric Fence or enhance it's security of the property. We only certifiy what exists.

We do not replace parts simply because they look a bit old, worn or rusty, as long as what exists complies with regulation we will pass it.

The Electric Fence certificate is limited to the Electric Fence installation only, any other part of the Electrical Installation is covered by a separate Electrical Compliance Certificate.


The legal aspects of the Electric Fence Certificate.

The legal requirements of the Electric Fence Certificate.

Regulation 12 of the Electrical Machinery Regulations states the following:


Electric fences

  • (1) No person shall design, manufacture, sell, install or use an electric fence or electric fence energiser other than in accordance with the relevant health and safety standard incorporated into these Regulations under section 44 of the Act: Provided that electric fences or electric fence energizers installed in accordance with the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 1988, prior to the coming into force of these Regulations shall be deemed to comply with this regulation.
  • (2) The seller, importer and manufacturer of an electric fence energizer shall prove compliance with SANS 60335-2-76 by producing a certificate issued by an accredited test laboratory recognized by the accreditation authority.
  • (3) In the case of an electric fence energiser which receives its energy from a battery charged by means of a charging apparatus which receives its power from an electric supply, the user or lessor shall ensure that the charging apparatus is of double-wound isolation construction.
  • (4) Subject to the provisions of subregulation (5), every user or lessor of an electric fence system shall have an electric fence system certificate in the form of Annexure 1 in respect of such electric fence system: Provided that such certificate shall be transferable.
  • (5) Subregulation (4) shall not apply to an electric fence system that existed prior to the coming into force of these Regulations: Provided that if- {a) any addition or alteration is effected to such electric fence system; or (b) there is a change of ownership of the premises on which such electric fence system exists after 1 October 2012, the user or lessor shall obtain an electric fence system certificate for the electric fence system, whereafter the provisions of subregulation {4) shall be applicable.

  • In terms of this article items 1-3 of the above regulations are technical issues and for interest only. Items 4 & 5 are of importance to the property market not so much in what IS written, but in what is NOT clearly written or specified.

    In the absence of a clear comprehensive regulation we can assume the following:

    Where a property is rented it is the owners responsibility to obtain a Vaild Electric Fence Certificate, not the tenants.

    In the case of a sectional title it is the responsibilty of the body corporate to obtain a valid electric fence certificate and not the individual property owner.

    The regulation discusses "user or lessor" but in the case of a property transfer it is silent on whether this is the seller or the purchaser, if not specified in the sales contract it could be assumed that it is the purchasers responsibility to obtain the certificate.

    In order to prevent any possible confusion it would be wise to have a clause in the sales contract that clearly specifies who is responsible for obtaining and covering any possible cost of obtaining a valid Electric Fence Certificate.


    The Electric Fence Certificate is transferable, as long as the installation not been worked on or amended in any way.

    Validity of the Electric Fence Certificate.

    The current regulations state that an Electric Fence Certificate is transferable as long as the Fence installations has not been worked on or amended in any way since the certificate was issued.


    We had similar wording in the Electrical Certificate regulations and many of us may remember the chaos that caused until the regulations were amended to limit the Electrical Certificate validity to a Maximum of two years irrespective of whether the installation had been amened or not.


    The current wording has two major weaknesses.

    1: It is completely reliant on the honesty and memory of one of the involved parties.

    2: It completely ignores the effects of time and natural wear & tear.

    It's important to bear in mind that when a property is sold you are not transferring a "piece of paper", but a potentially hazardous electrical device. In the absence of clear regulation it may be advisable to have a clause in the sales contract that sets a specific validity, or requires that a New Certificate be issued before registration.


    Request an Electric Fence Inspections directly from your PC or Mobile device on our website.

    What is the procedure in obtaining an Electric Fence Certificate?

    Selling your home? If you have an Electric Fence appliances installed in your home then you will probably require an Electric Fence Certificate.


    You, your Estate Agent, or even your Transferring Attorney can submit the request for an Electric Fence Inspection using our Online Inspection Request Form or if you prefer you can download a hard copy of our Inspection Request Form fill it in and email-fax it back to us.


    We will then contact the relevant person, normally the seller, to explain the inspection fee options and make the booking to perform the electric fence inspection.


    Should the electric fence Installation be 100% compliant we will issue the electric fence Certificate at no additional charge over and above the electric fence Inspection Fee.

    In the case that remedial work is required to make the electric fence Installation compliant we will issue the client with a detailed report with a costing to perform the remedial work.


    At this point the client can either accept our quotation, after which we will perform the rectifications and we will issue you a new electric fence Compliance Certificate.
    OR
    the client may choose to rather proceed with another registered electric fence Installer and have that company issue the new electric fence Certificate. Please note that Inspection Fees are due and payable irrespective of who ultimately issues the electric fence Certificate.