• Deen Gabriel

New socket installations

While SANS 164-0 deals with general requirements, SANS 164-1 is the standard for South Africa’s big, triangular-shaped plugs and sockets.

South Africa has adopted a new standard which conforms to the hexagonal diamond-shaped profile of the widely used Europlug.

It is officially designated SANS 164-2, but is also referred to as the compact three-pin ZA Plug. It is closely based on the global standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission.

It is currently mandatory for new buildings in South Africa to install wall sockets that contain at least one compact three-pin socket.

The SABS noted that over the past few years, several versions of the new design have been available on the market which accommodate the following features:

  • Old large-type three-pin plugs

  • Compact three-pin ZA Plugs

  • USB outlets

  • Switches

Examples of the variations are shown in the following image:

In addition, electrical manufacturers have started introducing rewireable compact three-pin ZA plugs.

The SABS has said that some sockets will indicate whether it can accommodate such a rewireable plug or not. This will be indicated as shown in the image below:

In addition, from June 2021 manufacturers will need to start placing warning signs on adapters to prevent the use of multiple adapters plugged into one another.

This will avoid the risk of electricity hazards due to overloading and poor connections, the SABS stated. The warning sign will look as follows:

“The construction industry, electrical contractors, and households need to be aware of the amended requirements for South Africa,” the SABS stated.


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