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Thread: ECA registration process

  1. #1
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    ECA registration process

    I was a member of the ECA for many many years, at the time I felt it was necessary to have some form of protection for my small one business which grew way faster than I could control. I was member for many years (back in the Chris Greager days), did it help my business, yeah sort, it helped with the labour issues as we grew. The free beers, snacks and banter was good at the meetings.

    I then down scaled, and ventured into other fields so I couldn't really justify the extra costs.

    In the past 2 years things have just got out of control again, as much as I tried to keep the turnover below the vat threshold, things have gone a little crazy.

    There are a few reasons why I have decided to take that step again.

    1/ Technical, keeping up to date wit the latest regs.

    2/ Training, I want expand my knowledge about solar and backup systems, attend a few refresher courses, see if I can learn a few new things, I dont know if this is going to be a waste of time.

    3/ Legal support, just in case I get one of those difficult customer who try bully you to get out of paying the bill and threaten you with legal action, knowing that you dont have the funds to go to to court.

    4/ Support and advice in many aspects of the business, labour laws, contracts etc.

    Lets see how it goes, I see the application forms where sent to me in May last year. I have responded to the email with a few questions.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  2. #2
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    I didnt get a response to the email sent this morning so I called the office.

    You have to first register your staff with the bargaining council then apply for membership. Registration with the bargaining council comes with a pile of fees and monthly costs, for medical aid, pensions, etc. These monthly cost catch up with you very quickly if you are a small one man operation.

    I need to contact the bargaining council and find out if I have to register my assistant who doesn't only do electrical, he is the gardener, the alarm and CCTV, wood work, alumunium manufacturing, helpsd in the garage building cars etc. The ECa is adamant that he must be registered with the bargaining council for me to register as a member... mmm what should I do ?

    The ECA year is from the July to July, paying a full year membership with 5 months to go, I am not that desperate to become a member, waiting another 5 months or a year or 2 wont make any difference.

    I would like to hear your opinion (if you are like many of us not registered ECA members), why you are not a member and what made you decide not to become a member or why like me decided to leave the ECA many years ago.

    Do you belong to the ECB or other maybe solar or security associations?

    Apparently I am told I should be a member of the security association because do security system installs and solar/PV associations because I do solar installs and elctrical associations because I do elctrical installations, I would be bankrupt before I paid my bills at the end of the month.

    Maybe I am looking at this all wrong, maybe it is better for us "little guys to just keep flying below the radar. Been there done that with staff and all the issues that come with employing people, turnover a lot more money now than I did when I employed a bunch of people.

    So my question to other small guys out there (Bakkie brigades as we called), what do you think we should do, it would be nice knowing you have a association to support you if you need the help at times?

    I have no problem paying the yearly ECA fee, for what get and just knowing you can get advice and a little support when you need it. I would fill out the form and pay the fee right now, but all the fees and expense that come with the bargaining council, no thanks. If I grow, focus only elctrical work and have more than 1 staff member, maybe then I would consider all the extra costs, but right now I am still trying to recover from all the challenges we have faced in the past 3 years.

    Maybe by July I would reconsider.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  3. #3
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    By the way you can submit an affidavit with your application if you dont have any staff, I do have 1 person who helps me, so I cant.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    As an electrical contractor you have to be registered with the Bargaining council - To do solar install work you have to be a registered electrical contractor and therefore registered with the bargaining council
    That section of being an electrical contractor has nothing to do with ECA

    If you are correctly register as an Electrical contractor then it is no big deal to join ECA - If you want to operate as a pirate electrical contractor then it could be a problem.

    In previous posts you telling us how booked up you are with factory installs and solar projects , I have not see anybody install solar panels by themselves and if you do please let us know the secret in getting the panels off the bakkie , up a ladder or scaffold and into place by yourself without damage.

    If you operate as a pirate electrical contractor then your insurances could be a problem

    You could also have an expensive claim against you by your assistants family if he falls off a roof and breaks his neck while working on electrical work- They can run to the bargaining council and you will be forced to pay funeral and pension benefits that he would have received if you had registered him correctly - It is never a problem until it is a problem

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    The question with regards to how it is possible to unload and install panels on the roof, simple you call that guy (who has 8 people, who specializes in panel installation) he delivers and installs, how to install hundreds of meters of cabling, sub contracting or using sub contractors. I sub contract my services to larger companies and sometimes I use sub contractors.

    When I built water treatment and waste plants, I worked alone (sub contracted my electrical services to a large company) , had a trailer which was fully equipped and used a large panel building company to assist with design and building of the control panels , the staff employed by the main contractor would assist with the heavy stuff, like unloaded the large control panels, digging trenches, pulling in hundreds of meters of cabling on site.

    The way things are going, it looks like I might need to employ staff, hence all the questions.



    Quote Originally Posted by GCE View Post
    As an electrical contractor you have to be registered with the Bargaining council - To do solar install work you have to be a registered electrical contractor and therefore registered with the bargaining council
    That section of being an electrical contractor has nothing to do with ECA

    If you are correctly register as an Electrical contractor then it is no big deal to join ECA - If you want to operate as a pirate electrical contractor then it could be a problem.

    In previous posts you telling us how booked up you are with factory installs and solar projects , I have not see anybody install solar panels by themselves and if you do please let us know the secret in getting the panels off the bakkie , up a ladder or scaffold and into place by yourself without damage.

    If you operate as a pirate electrical contractor then your insurances could be a problem

    You could also have an expensive claim against you by your assistants family if he falls off a roof and breaks his neck while working on electrical work- They can run to the bargaining council and you will be forced to pay funeral and pension benefits that he would have received if you had registered him correctly - It is never a problem until it is a problem
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  6. #6
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    Lets get this right, we know that if you do electrical work and want to sign off electrical work you must be registered with the DOL.

    I am sure there are many small operations out there, who are doing what it takes to survive. Who dont have staff in an office, or teams that they send out everyday, In fact I think the way many people are surviving at the moment, by sitting in an office alone selling equipment, some installing and others signing documents.

    Who can join the ECA?

    When do you have to register with the "electrical" bargaining council?

    1/ If you sell equipment?

    2/ If you sub contract work to a company which installs solar rails and modules but dont do the elctrical ( roofing guy installs panels) ?

    3/ If you do some electrical or manufacture wooden furniture, build aluminum frames, install alarm, CCTV, gate and garage door motors?

    By the way this was discussed in length with the bargaining council in the past.

    As pointed out, once again things are changing and I would like to make sure that I do things right.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  7. #7
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    Please share the fees, monthly costs involved in registering with the electrical bargaining council.
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post
    The question with regards to how it is possible to unload and install panels on the roof, simple you call that guy (who has 8 people, who specializes in panel installation) he delivers and installs, how to install hundreds of meters of cabling, sub contracting or using sub contractors. I sub contract my services to larger companies and sometimes I use sub contractors.

    When I built water treatment and waste plants, I worked alone (sub contracted my electrical services to a large company) , had a trailer which was fully equipped and used a large panel building company to assist with design and building of the control panels , the staff employed by the main contractor would assist with the heavy stuff, like unloaded the large control panels, digging trenches, pulling in hundreds of meters of cabling on site.

    The way things are going, it looks like I might need to employ staff, hence all the questions.
    Bear in mind that under the OHSA and Laws of SA it is your duty to ensure that the sub contractor you use is suitable qualified and registered with the various entity's require by statutory law eg Worksman comp , PAYE , Tax compliance , If electrical then NBCEI etc

  9. #9
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    I generally use other small electrical companies to assist, or I work on the larger sites as the "registered responsible person".

    This is another reason I have decided to look into becoming an ECA member.

    I am looking at the training, the network, to make it easier to find other registered contractors, legal and just the stuff that us little guys battle with.

    I would encourage the ECA to look into a ways to attract more little guys like myself to join, the ECA have a lot to offer but I think most of us see the ECA as an huge additional expense to our little operation, mainly because we are forced to join the NBCEI and pay all the fees attached to it.

    It is easy to say, join and pay, I talk from experience, come the end of year and you haven't had such a great year, throw in corvid and all the other things we have had to deal with, any extra cost cutting will help pay the bills and find a way to cover not only the bills for December, but also the leave pay and bonuses, I am sure other small contractors and some of the bigger guys can relate.



    Quote Originally Posted by GCE View Post
    Bear in mind that under the OHSA and Laws of SA it is your duty to ensure that the sub contractor you use is suitable qualified and registered with the various entity's require by statutory law eg Worksman comp , PAYE , Tax compliance , If electrical then NBCEI etc
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isetech View Post

    I would encourage the ECA to look into a ways to attract more little guys like myself to join, the ECA have a lot to offer but I think most of us see the ECA as an huge additional expense to our little operation, mainly because we are forced to join the NBCEI and pay all the fees attached to it.
    You are missing the point - If you operate as an Electrical contractor then you have to belong to NBCEI irrespective of whether you want to join ECA or any other organization -

    Every Electrical contractor has to be registered at NBCEI , it is gazette as such and no builder or company should be using you as an electrical contractor if you do not belong as you do not comply to the Statutory laws of the country and they cannot employ your services
    In some areas the Department of Labour will not renew your contractors license unless you can show good standing with NBCEI and I assume this will now become standard going forward

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