-Compliance Certificates…

If you’re in the process of buying or selling a property, It is important to be aware of the compliance certificates that are required when buying and selling property in South Africa.

Most of these certificates are LEGAL requirements that must be obtained and handed to the conveyancing attorney before the transfer of ownership can take place, while others are only required if agreed upon between the parties.

Let’s take a closer look at the most important certificates that a Seller will be required to obtain.


The Electrical Compliance Certificate, or ECC, is a document that certifies that the electrical installations and wiring in the property comply with the required safety standards. This certificate is issued by a registered electrician and must be obtained before the sale of the property can take place. Often remedial work is required before the certificate can be issued by the electrician. The ECC is generally valid for two years if no alterations are made to the installation. This is governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Parties cannot contract out of this requirement. IT IS IMPORTANT to note… The electrical certificate covers the electrical “installation” from the point of supply, where the mains supply cable enters the premises, to the point where the wires connect to a fixed appliance. The certificate does NOT cover the electrical appliances themselves, such as stoves, geysers, pool and pond pumps, aircon units, garage and gate motors, pool lights etc., The purpose of the certificate is to make sure the appliances are correctly connected to the installation. So the electrical regulations are primarily concerned with the correctness and safety of the electrical Installation, and that everything that forms part of the INSTALLATION is in good working order, including the earthing structure.


If the property has any gas installations such as… for example a gas stove, gas fireplace or gas geyser, a Gas Compliance Certificate or GCC is required. This certificate is issued by a registered gas installer and verifies that the gas installations are safe and meet the required standards. This is also governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Parties cannot contract out of this requirement.


The Beetle Certificate is required if the property has any wooden structures such as wooden window frames or roofs. This certificate verifies that the property is free of wood-boring insects, and is issued by a qualified pest control specialist. This is NOT governed by any specific law, but is often agreed upon in the sale agreement. If the buyer and seller agree that the seller is not obliged to obtain a beetle certificate, it may still be that the bank requires it for the purchaser’s bond, in which case it will be for the purchaser’s account if not otherwise agreed.


The next certificate is commonly referred to as a PLUMBING CERTIFICATE, but is usually applicable to transfers within the municipal jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town to certify that the water installation at the property is in line with the City of Cape Town’s Water By-laws. A new certificate MUST be obtained for every change of ownership, and the parties CANNOT contract out of this requirement.
Here IT IS IMPORTANT to note that this is not an all-inclusive plumbing certificate, and the purpose is NOT to confirm that ALL plumbing is in perfect condition. The issuing of a water certificate does not cover things like water pressure issues, blocked drains (which is a maintenance issue), or that taps and fittings are in perfect condition.
The City of Cape Town’s Water Bylaw DOES require, is confirmation that:
• the water installation conforms to the national building regulations;
• the property’s water meter is in working order;
• None of the terminal water fittings leak and they are correctly fixed in position.
• no rainwater is discharged into the sewerage system
• The property’s private isolating valve is in place and functioning.
• There is no cross connection between the potable water supply and any alternate water supply.


If the property has an electric fence, a certificate of compliance is required. This certificate verifies that the electric fence is safe and meets the required standards in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the parties CANNOT contract out of this requirement. The certificate is issued by a registered electric fence system installer and is usually valid for a certain period and can therefor be transferred by the seller to the purchaser. A seller need only provide a new certificate to the purchaser if a change was made to the installation after the certificate was issued, or if the parties agree that the seller must obtain a new certificate.

I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to reach out to us for further assistance or with any additional questions you may have. If we cannot answer them, we will direct you to someone who can.