In terms of current legislation, and in particular the regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (the “OHS Act”), a “user” of an electrical installation is responsible for the safety, safe use and maintenance of an electrical installation he or she uses. In respect of electrical installations, a “user” includes an owner or lessor of immovable property, and, any person who has a right of control over the electrical installations. This would therefore include, among others, an executor of a deceased estate, a trustee of an insolvent estate, a liquidator of a company and a business rescue practitioner.
In terms of regulation 7(5) (of the Electrical Installation Regulations, 2009 to the OHS Act), a “user” cannot allow a change of ownership of an immovable property if they are not in possession of a valid electrical compliance certificate which is not more than two years old.
Section 10(4) of the OHS Act does, however, provide for the signing of a waiver whereby a new “user” takes responsibility for the safety, safe use and maintenance of the electrical installations.
The onus therefore lies on an executor of a deceased estate to ensure that a valid electrical compliance certificate or a written waiver is in place before the transfer of any immovable property, over which there is an electrical installation, to a beneficiary of the deceased estate is registered in the Deeds Office. This should be discussed with the executor and beneficiaries of a deceased estate as soon as possible to ensure that agreement is reached on who will be responsible for the costs relating to the inspection of the electrical installations as well as any repairs that may be necessary before an electrical compliance certificate can be issued.
Should you require more information in this regard, kindly contact me.
TONKIN CLACEY PRETORIA
012 346 1278