Sparks Electrical News

Let me start by introducing myself as a first-time contributor to this widely read magazine. I have been an avid reader for the past three years and it is an honour to contribute to a magazine I have read, both in hard copy and soft copy.

The issues electrical inspectors faceAs an electrical inspector on electrical installations, I have had great exposure in understanding why so many people are electrocuted or injured because of unsafe installations. The greatest pain is realising that these victims could have paid for an experienced, knowledgeable contractor to carry out these repairs or installations.

It has been a learning curve for me as well, because my own work has been critiqued, but at the end of the day, it all depends on how you handle that criticism. Do you take it negatively or do you stand up and do something about it? Remember, some people criticise you to demoralise you, but always try and take the positives out of a situation and move on.

I have also been called out to sites – which I would have not inspected at all – to issue compliance certificates because the property owner wants to sell the property and needs a certificate urgently for his or her property to be registered. This is so prevalent in the industry and more often than not, a lot of inspectors fall prey to this and end up issuing these certificates without carrying out the inspections. This is the danger our industry now faces in its day-to-day operations.

It is then, after having problems at the property, that the new owners will call me in, barely a few months after purchasing a property, and voila, all hell breaks loose. You ask if a COC was issued prior to them moving in, and they gladly supply you with this, but as you go through what was done by the previous contractor and what is recorded on the compliance certificate, the details are glaringly different. Some of the original contractors are willing to engage after contacting them, but most of them are not reachable or they keep giving flimsy excuses. It is more difficult for those ‘contractors’ who are not even registered by the Department of Labour, as they fear the legal repercussions that may follow if clients exercise their legal right to sue. Many clients are not even aware that the COC is legally binding and is protected by law, meaning they can sue contractors for shoddy workmanship and recover their hard-earned cash. Often, clients suffer the loss of having to pay a different contractor to rectify any faults they might encounter later on at their properties.

I will, in future, include photographs of some of the installations which I have come across – without naming and shaming – to show how badly some of these properties with COCs have been wired.

Lastly, let me remind clients that it is their right to demand proof of registration for a contractor with the Department of Labour to ensure that a contractor can carry out such work. Alternatively, the Department gives cards to accredited persons with that person’s registration number with the Department of Labour. With this in hand, a client can phone their nearest Department of Labour offices to confirm with them first before having their properties worked on by dodgy or unregistered contractors, saving them money, heartache, and sometimes, injuries or a life.

By Jonas E Mukupo, MJ Total Power Solutions (IE31227)


Contact Sparks Electrical News

Title: Editor
Name: Gregg Cocking
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Carin Hannay
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108