THE ECA(SA) GUARANTEES MEMBERS’ WORKMANSHIP
By Lucas Bowles, Regional Director, East/South Cape
Did you know that, as a user of electricity, you are legally responsible for the safety of your electrical installation? This means that should you have building alterations done – an addition or extension to your existing electrical installation – you are legally bound to ensure that such work is inspected and tested by a registered and duly licensed person. This is the only person who is legally authorised to issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) after he or she has satisfied himself/herself that the work has been done in accordance with the Wiring Code (SANS 10142 – 1).
Every user of electricity in South Africa must have a CoC for a new electrical installation, when alterations to an existing electrical installation have been done, or when a property is sold.
Don’t fall into the ‘cheap route trap’ and use a builder, handyman, plumber, DIY specialist or pirate contractor to work on your electrical installation – they are not qualified to undertake such work and they cannot issue a CoC as required by law.
There is strict legislation in place that requires any person who does electrical installation work as a contractor to be registered with the Department of Labour (DoL) – and this registration must be renewed annually.
Before employing any person to undertake electrical installation work, ask the service provider for the following:
- Proof of registration as an electrical contractor with DoL.
- Proof of registration as registered person with DoL
- Proof of ECA membership.
Standard public liability policies available in the marketplace will not compensate the electrical contractor for defective work rendered to its customers; and the workmanship clause of such a policy will only cover the loss or damage suffered by the client arising from defective work.
What remedy is then available to you as the client should the electrical contractor default and leave you with an incomplete and/or non-compliant installation?
Workmanship Guarantee Scheme
Well, there is good news: If you employ an electrical contractor who is a member of the ECA(SA), you will be covered by the association’s Workmanship Guarantee Scheme which funds remedial work up to R20 000 per contract.
Additionally, when you employ an ECA member, you have the added advantage of a 12-month guarantee on the workmanship of the member company in terms of the ECA(SA) Guarantee of Work Scheme. The guarantee covers the cost of rectifying defective work and this guarantee can be transferred to the subsequent owner should you sell your property.
The aim of the Workmanship Guarantee Scheme is to provide the end-user with peace of mind knowing that the ECA(SA)’s members are committed to providing legally compliant work.
In the unlikely event of a complaint, you need to first approach the ECA member company, however, should your complaint not be resolved satisfactorily, the next step is to contact your closest ECA(SA) regional office.
The ECA SA) will investigate your complaint. If the complaint is valid, the ECA (SA) will arrange for the work to be rectified up to a maximum value of R20 000 at no cost to yourself on condition that you have paid the contractor for the work done.
Using an ECA(SA) member contractor gives homeowners the assurance that their electrical installation has been certified by a trusted electrical contractor as reasonably safe for use.
When selling your home remember that only CoCs issued by compliant, registered electrical contractors are legally acceptable.
Make sure that your electrical contractor is a member of the ECA(SA) – their work is guaranteed, and they will display the ECA’s ‘hands of safety’ logo on quotations and on their vehicles.
Visit our website at www.ecasa.co.za to verify that your electrical contractor is a member of the ECA or to find an ECA(SA) member. Alternatively, call the ECA national helpline on 087 944 4555 for more information.