New power plug for South Africa


*All future buildings in South Africa must incorporate electrical sockets that conform to South Africa’s new plug and socket standard.

This is according to Gianfranco Campett, Chairperson of the SA Bureau of Standards SC23B Mirror Committee, who was speaking to 702 Bongani Bingwa on Tuesday

Campett noted that while the standard was first introduced in 2014, few buildings and homes in the country have migrated to the socket.

“South Africa adopted this international standard but ultimately only two countries adopted it, so unfortunately again, South Africa has got another unique standard,” he said.

SANS 164–2, also known as ZA Plug, has the same hexagonal profile as the Europlug seen on cellphone chargers, but includes an earth pin, MyBroadband reported.

It is substantially more compact than South Africa’s three-prong plug standard and has much thinner pins.

With the wiring code amendment taking effect in January 2018, each plug point in a new building must have at least one socket that can accommodate a ZA Plug.

Speaking to MyBroadband Cecil Lancaster, a regional director for the Electrical Contractors’ Association of South Africa ECA(SA), said that from the installer’s side there was initially some confusion about the wiring code requirements.

There was also some initial resistance due to the price difference between installing an outlet with at least one ZA Plug socket in it, and outlets that only support the older standard.

The price has since reduced to the point where it is no longer a factor, said Lancaster.

“There was some consumer resistance due to existing appliances bearing the old type plug, but it is mostly satisfied by offering combination socket outlets containing both types,” he said.


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