Electrical Fence Certificate

This is governed by the Electrical Machinery Regulations which were promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health & Safety Act. The overriding purpose of requiring an Electrical Fence Certificate is to ensure that the installation is safe.

The certificate is required where:

– There is a change in ownership of a property after 1 October 2012 at which property there is an electric fence.

– There was no change of ownership but there has been an alteration or modification to an electric fence after 1 October 2012, even if it was installed before 1 October 2012.

There is no mention in the legislation of the certificate being valid for a fixed time period once issued (unlike electrical certificates) and once obtained it can be transferred from one owner to the next provided of course the agreement of sale does not specify a time period and provided there were no alterations to the installation after the certificate was issued. With sectional title properties, the electric fence is generally situated on the common property which is deemed to be body corporate property. Every owner of a section within a

sectional scheme is also a member of the body corporate and is also therefore an undivided part share owner in the common property.

“We are of the opinion that when a sectional unit is transferred there is also a change of ownership (even though only in part share) of the common property, and as a result of the change of ownership of property on which the electric fence is situated it will be necessary to comply with these regulations,” say the conveyancing attorneys.

“Given that the management of common property falls within the duties of the body corporate, we are of the opinion that it is adequate for the body corporate to have a compliance certificate issued for the electric fence of the entire scheme which can be produced and when called upon to do so.”

The body corporate should have a new certificate issued every time there are alterations done but it would not be necessary to have a new certificate issued every time there is a transfer within the scheme.

What happens within a gated estate that is not a sectional title but freestanding even where part of the fence is on the erf transferred (commonly referred to as homeowners’ associations)?

As discussed above, compliance with the regulations is triggered when there is a change in ownership of property on which an electric fence installation exists.

Technically where there is a change in ownership of property within a homeowner’s association on which an electric fence exists (typically your perimeter properties) then a certificate would need to be issued or be in place.

It does however seem unfair that all of the members of a homeowners association benefit from an electric fence, but only those properties on which the actual fence is built would need to have the certificate issued.

“As a result, our view is that as in sectional schemes, it would be more practical for the homeowner’s association to have a certificate issued for the entire electric fence installation which can be produced as and when required in transfers,” say the conveyancing attorneys.

Article courtesy of Property 24