ECB FUNCTIONS AND GUIDELINES

The ECB is an INDUSTRY CHAMPION and not an EMPLOYERS ORGANISATION

The Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECB) was established in 1983 as the national umbrella body and customer champion within the electrical and electronic sector. It is an unbiased registration body listing conforming organisations, products and persons. Manufacturers, importers, designers, installers, the public and the regulator see the ECB as their partner and interface between themselves and all of the various stake holders, promoting conformance, co-operation and support. The ECB works closely with other organizations, such as the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to assist in the regulation of the industry.

The ECB encourages members and listed parties to see us as an organisation that adds value to their business by promoting conforming products, electrical installations, services and professional individuals, which we hope will give peace of mind to the user. Displaying the ECB logo is therefore promoted to as a mark associated with professionalism, quality service and conformance.

The ECB spends many hours protecting the rights of the electrical sector. Offering professional, protective, safety and advisory services to the industry and has seen an increasing request by home owners, financial services and property companies to assist with management by checking of standards, qualifications and compliance.

Making South Africa Electrically Safe With Standards & Monitoring

Lowering electrical risk through compliance clarity and improving safety by tracking electrical installers, registered persons and compliant components, the Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECB) was established in 1983 as the national umbrella body and customer champion within the electrical and electronic sector:

  • Advice and guidance to electricians, homeowners and commercial property developers on SANS Standards, arbitration, support for registered parties and other services.
  • Provides a centralised online listing of registered electrical persons and contractors.
  • Provides traceable, online electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoCs).
  • Assess electrical installations and offers professional opinions when necessary.
  • Training on a range of electrical and electronic services.
  • We wrote the original electrical installation standards – SANS 10142-1.
  • Assisting to compile with our members listed below including SA and foreign industry partners a list of safe and compliant electrical components.
  • Secretariat for the Solar PV SANS standard with CSIR, SABS, AMEU and ESKOM.
  • Resides on standards setting committees and other regulatory and association bodies and many SANS and IEC work groups. e.g. SANS 10313 (lightening protection)
  • Works with many bodies such as AMEU, SAIEE, NRCS, SABS and private enterprises etc.

INDUSTRY PROBLEMS THAT ARE NO LONGER ADDRESSED

A change of law in 2009 saw the ECB removed as the appointed statutory body for electrical contractor registration and CoC supply and management in favor of the Department of Labour (DoL). Since the official transfer, in 2013, the DoL have not published a central database of qualified electrical contractors / registered persons and have allowed a decentralized registration with no control of the CoCs. It is now very difficult to identify or verify qualified persons / contractors. It is even more difficult to verify a valid electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) with anyone permitted to print their own. Having no paper trail has lead to:

  • Deterioration in the quality of workmanship and proliferation of unsafe components.
  • Significant increase in fires and electrical-related injuries (e.g. electrocution). The industry estimated fire damage cost has now rising to over R2bn in 2018.

PROPERTY LOANS, RISK AND MANAGEMENT

  • No simple way to confirm and track electrical work performed by registered persons.
  • CoCs issued are often likely to be worthless – very little way to check.
  • Use of non-tested or compliant and dangerous components in installations is common.

RENEWABLES – SOLAR PV INSTALLATIONS

  • Installations are generally added on to a non-CoC compliant property.
  • Currently PV installations may not conform, as the standard has not yet been completed.

BUILDING A SAFER SOUTH AFRICA

The ECB has continued offering professional, protective, safety and advisory services to the industry and has seen an increasing request by home owners, financial services and property companies to assist with management by checking of standards, qualifications and compliance. As a result the ECB is approaching industry and financial institutions directly to assist in this endeavor.

FINANCIAL SERVICES & PROPERTY MANAGERS CAN ASSIST BY:

  • Ensuring all electricians who perform work on properties are ECB “LISTED”:
  • Verification of a qualified electrician on all work performed (ECB card holder)
  • A clear responsibility chain on faults and workmanship of a property.
  • Full CoC history of a property, stored on the ECB “database”.
  • Ability to randomly audit and inspect workmanship if and when required.

 We are in the process of compiling a list of tested and approved electrical components for use in South Africa. Encouraging financial services and property managers to ensure registered persons are using compliant products as contained in this list. We believe it will help to lower risk of failure and fire on properties.  Remember, the best material badly installed will surely fail.  Non compliant products well installed will in all likelihood still fail.   

 

ECB CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS

We have 35 years of experience working with stake holders and regulators including the legislation in its various forms. Regulation is necessary to the benefit of all, provided we work together.

As the over-arching electrical body of South Africa the ECB has an established board contingent:

ASAQS      ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN QUANTITY SURVEYORS
AMEU       ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPAL ELECTRICITY UTLIITIES
CDAA        COPPER DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION OF AFRICA
CESA         CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF SA
DOL          DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
EEAIA        ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION
EMASA      ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION OF SA
ESASA       ELECTRICAL SWITCHGEAR ASSOCIATION OF SA
FPASA       FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
NBCEI        NATIONAL BARGAINING COUNCIL FOR THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY
NRCS         NATIONAL REGISTRAR FOR COMPULSORY SPECIFICATIONS
SABS          SA BUREAU OF STANDARDS
SAFA          SOUTH AFRICAN FLAMEPROOF ASSOCIATION
SAIA           SOUTH AFRICAN INSURANCE ASSOCIATION
SAIA           SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS
SAIEE         SA INSTITUTE OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS
SANCU      SA NATIONAL CONSUMER UNION
SAPOA       SA PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION
UL              UNDERWRITERS LABORATORY INTERNATIONAL

 We also have industry experts and academics working with us to ensure we are constantly aware of new products, services and solutions in the market.

 

SERVICES THE ECB CAN OFFER:

Ensure all electricians who perform work on properties are ECB “LISTED” – with this you will be able to ensure quality workmanship and have a clear responsibility chain:

  • Verification of a qualified electrician on all work performed (ECB card holder)
  • Full CoC history of a property, stored on the ECB “database”.
  • A clear responsibility chain on faults and workmanship of a property.
  • Ability to randomly audit and inspect workmanship if and when required.
  • The ECB, in partnership with our associates, are now in the process of compiling a list of tested and approved electrical components for use in South Africa.

 

Our motto is “SAFETY THROUGH CONFORMANCE”.

 OUR PURPOSE & MISSION STATEMENT IS:

  • To promote the use of legally compliant products & services.
  • To promote the awareness of electrical safety issues.
  • To support the development, implementation & dissemination of standards and information.
  • To promote technical competence through training
  • To acknowledge conformance through listing of products, suppliers & individuals.

 

Author: Staff Writer