Tag: Renewables & Regulatory

What is the Way Forward for Gas Practitioners in South Africa?

In April 2020, studies revealed that South Africans were spending 24% more time in residential areas due to the pandemic*. As we still globally grapple with COVID-19, the focus remains on being more at home than anywhere else. That means homeowners, buyers and sellers are not only investing in gas applications but becoming more aware of the industry regulations, and for good reason. No business or homeowner wants to land up with gas repairs or installations that could endanger lives, causing loss of property or even result in legal consequences. It’s no wonder consumers are choosing, as well as recommending, registered gas practitioners to their communities across South Africa.

Ultimately, non-compliant practitioners do not have a future in the fuel gas industry. This is clear especially when looking at the implementation of gas regulations around the world. The United Kingdom has proven to have especially effective legislation for gas safety in installation and use. This legislation gets put into action by the Gas Safe Register (GSR), which operates on behalf of the relevant Health and Safety Authorities in each of the UK’s regions. By law, all gas businesses and their engineers must be on the GSR to work legally on gas equipment. The GSR also undertakes inspections of listed businesses, investigates gas safety complaints or reports of illegal gas work, applies sanction policies in the event of unsafe gas work and runs consumer campaigns to raise awareness of gas safety issues such as carbon monoxide and the dangers of using illegal engineers not registered.

For gas practitioners in South Africa, the question is simple: are you losing your footing in the gas industry, or are you a licenced, responsible practitioner paving the way forward?

Growth in Gas Practitioner Registrations

Has the GSR been successful in the UK? Let the figures do the talking! Since 2009, the registration of gas practitioners has grown by 42%. UK gas-related fatalities were 0 in 2016 and 2017. Their national Gas Safety Week campaign is now in its 10th year. Smartphone traffic to the Gas Safe Register website has increased by 50%. It’s clear that being a registered and therefore legal gas practitioner is not only good for business but good for the community.

The SAQCC Gas, is similar to the GSR as it covers South African practitioners working with liquified petroleum gas, compressed industrial and medical gas, refrigerant gas and natural gas. Being registered with SAQCC Gas is the only way for South African gas practitioners to take responsibility and make a meaningful contribution to the improvement of SA’s gas industry. Due to the severity of potential risks associated when working with gas, consumers want 100% certainty on safe handling of gas when choosing practitioners for gas installation and related appliances or equipment. The digitalisation of CoCs means fraudulent paperwork is reaching its end and therefore SAQCC’s secure online system is not only convenient and paperless to registered gas practitioners, but also denies access to non-compliant practitioners from issuing CoCs. For gas practitioners in South Africa, the question is simple: are you losing your footing in the gas industry, or are you a licenced, responsible practitioner paving the way forward?

*According to Aljazeera reporting on Google's COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports (April 6th, 2020).