I did my electrical apprenticeship
with a small company in Jeppe called Grazer & Gilliont. Their
main clients were Dan Perkins, Benny Goldberg and famous
architect Michael Sutton.
Both were good electricians and
good teachers. From day one I was taught, if you can connect
just one plug correctly, you can connect ten plugs
correctly and then you can connect plugs correctly for the rest
of your life.
I had a 5
years apprenticeship but after only 3 years, I passed my trade
test and qualified.
In 1980 I
started my own electrical business and I was the youngest
registered electrical contractor in Roodepoort at the time.
days were very different, every site had to have a licensed
electrician and when the job was completed a municipal inspector
would come and inspect your work. If he found more than three
faults, a fine was levied, the faults had to be corrected and
the work then re-inspected.
many of the contractors complained that it was to expensive to
have a qualified man on every site. The electrical industry
agreed that as long as the boss is qualified, he does not need a
qualified man on every site.
Unfortunately with this new rule the standard of electrical work
dropped and the inspectors were taking more responsibility for
bad jobs. This poor quality of work led to the Certificate of
Compliance law being implemented, placing the responsibility on
the electrical contractor and the owner of the property.
Ultimately the owner of the property is responsible for the
electrical installation and to have a valid Certificate
law was implemented in about 1992 and at first some contractors
were just signing certificates, thinking it was an easy way to
make money, not realizing the legal implications. Once people
like the Gauteng Inspectors came about, many contractors were no
longer interested in the C.O.C.'s, believing it wasn't worth the
the challenge and still continue doing C.O.C.'s.
become a specialised field as electrics have advanced a lot over
the years. As new products come on to the market and
security changes e.g. Electric fences etc, the regulations
must change to accommodate the technology. There is a lot to
keep up with in order to write a valid certificate in order to
protect you, the owner.