Recently a new regulation was adopted in SA which sees our electrical plug sockets starting to change over to a new European format.

Many people have shown confusion about this new plug with concerns that all plug points in our homes need to be changed.

This is not the case and the new rule only applies to new builds, which has created confusion as people who are adding on and renovating have also wondered if they must put the new plugs in.

The new rule only applies (at this stage) to entirely newly built houses/buildings.

So good news for people wanting to renovate, extend and overhaul their homes is that they do not have to worry about the new plug regulations.

However - the new plugs do have their benefits - such as the fact that they are safer than our existing ones as little kids cannot get their fingers into them.  They also make it easier to charge cell phones etc without needing a double adaptor.

Orlando Luis, CEO of Brights Hardware, explains that South Africa has adopted new plug standards – which means we will be phasing out the common familiar triangular electrical plug and socket currently used and changing over to the new “ZA Plug”.

“The new plug has the same hexagonal profile as the Europlug seen on cellphone chargers and includes an earth pin. It is substantially more compact than South Africa’s three-prong plug standard, and has much thinner pins,” says Luis.

“However, despite the fact that it is now required to integrate sockets which comply with the ZA Plug standard in new buildings, the old standard remains legal and the wiring code amendment does not affect existing buildings. What this means is that any new buildings constructed must conform to the new electrical plug socket standards.”

 Benefits of the new plug points:

1) Cellphone chargers and devices using standard Europlugs will fit in our wall sockets.
2) Annoying “double-adapters” will be a thing of the past – no more wiggling a two-prong plug to get it to work, or struggling to get a plug to go into low-quality adapters.

3) No more multi-plugs that are not fully utilised - many electronic devices come to South Africa with Europlugs attached, resulting in adapters never seeing an “old” three-pronged plug any more.

4) New wall sockets can fit much more than two plugs, like the old wall sockets. You can fit at least two ZA Plugs into the space of just one of the triangular sockets.

5) The new ZA Plugs are safer than our current sockets and children’s small fingers and small objects will no longer fit into wall sockets. Plus the recessed sockets on the ZA Plug mean that small fingers can no longer wrap over the edge of the plastic plug and risk touching a live “prong” when pulling a plug out of the socket.

6) The new plug standards means that plugs and cables will take up less space when being transported.