The purpose of the Electrical Machinery Regulations of 2011 (the “Regulations”) is to ensure safety measures are being implemented by the Government.  To achieve that goal, standards and rules are issued to safeguard consumers against using non-quality products and having unqualified installers working on your premises.  These Regulations have been in force since December 2012 and yet it is still a source of much confusion and debate, not only between home owners/tenants, but also between legal experts.


Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd recommend all electric fence users always err on the side of caution.  In light of the continuing confusion, below we set-out answers to what seems to be main points of concern for users.

1. Do I have to obtain a certificate for my old electric fence?

As a matter of fact, you do not need to obtain a COC if your fence was installed before December 2012.  However, if you are adding or making an alteration to your electric fence, or if you are selling your house, to comply with the set-out safety measures, you will have to provide a COC.  Despite this interpretation of the law, when applying for home owners’ insurance, it is prudent to confirm with your insurance company that your fence was installed before December 2012 and you do not have a COC for it.

Moreover, if your home is part of a sectional title which has an electric fence, the body corporate must have a COC and a copy of it will be sufficient to add to your transfer documents.

2. What happens if I do not obtain a certificate for my fence?

In the first place, if your fence was installed after December 2012 and you do not have a COC, anybody suffering damages or physical injury (even if it was a criminal illegally trying to gain access to your property) may have a legal claim against you for such damages or injuries suffered.

Additionally, the regulations confirm that if an electric fence is installed without the issuing of a COC, it will be in breach of the aspired safety measures and therefore the owner/lessor shall be guilty of an offense and liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a maximum of 12 months.  Moreover, in case of a continuous offense, the user/lessor may be liable for an additional fine of R200 or additional imprisonment of one day for each day on which the offense continues.  However, the maximum period of such additional imprisonment may not exceed 90 days.

Certificate of Compliance for Electric Fences – Find out more.

On our website we have a section dealing with the COC (, however, we will be running a series of articles regarding the Electric Fence COC, to help consumers and to explain various aspects of the requirements.  Please let us know if there is any specific question you would like us to address, either by commenting below or emailing us at  For information re the services we offer, please visit us at

25 April 2018, Nelspruit Fencing (Pty) Ltd, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga