Selecting a qualified electrical contractor for your home or business can be challenging, especially when you don’t know what to look out for. In South Africa, there are bodies that govern electricians, therefore it is imperative to confirm that your electrician of choice is registered with the Department of Labour.

When choosing to work with any electrician, it’s important to remember that they are only legally recognised as a qualified electrical contractor when they have their Wireman’s License and a DOL Registration Certificate. We encourage building owners and property developers to check the electrician’s credentials before any work is undertaken on your property; this can be done by calling your national office of the Department of Labour. Therefore it is important to request a copy of your electricians wireman’s licence and a copy of their DOL Registration Certificate.

We’ve put together a few reasons why it’s important to ensure your installer has a DOL number.

Issuing a Certificate of Compliance
When an electrician has a DOL number, it enables the electrician to issue you with a COC (Certificate of Compliance) – which is one of the most important duties of a qualified electrical contractor. A COC verifies that the electrical work and installations that have been completed on a property are up to the regulations required by the South African National Standards and are safe. This can only be issued by certified electricians and any electrician that cannot do so, should not be used. As tempting as it may be to reduce costs by using a handyman or “DIY specialist” for your electrical work, remember that they are not qualified to undertake such work and their poor workmanship will leave you with more expenses in the long run.

Working with installers who are not registered poses a serious liability threat as well. “Insurance companies more often than not will not cover work that was carried out by an unregistered electrical contractor,” says Shantonette Pillay, the regional director of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (SA) in Durban. According to ECASA, using an unregistered electrician is not only illegal, but it can also invalidate insurance cover, and in the event of an electrical fire, the insurer can refuse to pay any claims if the COC for the property was issued fraudulently by an unregistered contractor. Insurance companies may also reject any claims if the COC is not valid and / or up-to-date to include all alterations that may have been done to the electrical installation. If a claim has been rejected by the insurer, a civil claim against the unregistered contractor would be futile.

We understand how difficult it may be when choosing to work with installers, but prioritising quality, safety, efficiency and service can help you choose the right electrical contractor for your home or business. As always, we remind you that Citiq Prepaid meters must be installed by a technically competent person according to codes.

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