South Africa has had one of the most dangerous electrical systems in the world for over 60 years- but that has now changed. Many South Africans are unaware as to just how dangerous South Africa’s previous three-pronged, round pin plug truly is. At Woodmans Electrical, we are both relieved and excited that the country has switched to a new standard. However, the majority of the country is confused about why the previous standard was a problem and how South Africa’s new plug and socket standard can change lives. Here is a bit more information on how the old standard was both inconvenient and dangerous:

In the 1950’s, South Africa switched from a two-pin unearthed plug to the three-pronged, round pin plug- the SANS 164-1 system- used in the United Kingdom. However, there were countless problems with this system, which has been responsible for many fires and electrocutions in the country. First, the large round holes were safety hazards for children, as they were big enough for small children to put their fingers into. Additionally, the plug pins for the SANS 164-1 standard were rarely insulated. Without at least half insulation- which few three-pronged plugs sold in the country have- the risk of electrocution due to exposed conductive parts was extremely high. Lastly, the old standard was not compatible with any other country.

The new wiring and plug code system does affect existing buildings and homes so there is no need to immediately switch to the new system, the old standard still remains legal. Any new construction will have to comply with the new ZA Plug making our plug system much safer.

For years it’s been law that all electrical appliances have to be sold with a plug. It may take some time for the new plug and socket system to integrate fully in South Africa but safety in the home and workplace should always come first.

Woodmans Electrical provides a wide range of electrical services to both residential and commercial clients. We are the leading specialist in electrical installations and hire only the most experienced and knowledgeable electrical contractors. While we are passionate about providing clients with high quality, cost-efficient services, we are just as invested in safety. South Africa’s new plug and socket standard- the SANS 164-2- assures the safety of both electricians and homeowners around the country.