Sparks Electrical News January 2015

January 2015


• Earthing, lightning and surge protection • Cables and cable accessories • Lighting

14 15-17 18-19

• Contractors’ corner • Buyers’ guide • People on the move REGULARS

2 -9, 12-13 10 -11 20


Court hands down R100 000 fine for selling counterfeit circuit breakers

the life and limb of members of society in danger”; that“the consequence of a malfunction of a counterfeit circuit breaker could be fatal”; and“the sale of such illicit goods directly impacts on the innocent law-abiding consumer and/or trader who wishes to deal legitimately in thembut has to pay the increased costs as a result of losses suffered by the complainant that need to be recovered”. The trial of four other persons who were also accused in this case will be heard separately in April, 2015. AndrewDickson, divisionmanager, engineering and quality at CBI- electric: low voltage, says,“CBI-electric has always been about protecting people and installations with top quality products. There are compulsory specifications for good reasons and I hope that with this sentencing, users and installers will begin to take heed of the very real dangers posed by the counterfeit and substandard products that enter the South Africanmarket.”

ANOTHER battle in the war against poor quality, potentially harmful counterfeit products was won in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg on November 26 when Ismail Khan, the sole member of Greatech cc was convicted of one count under the Counterfeit Goods Act and another count under the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifica- tions (NRCS) Act. Khanwas sentenced to a fine of R100 000 or five years’imprisonment suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of contraven- ing Section 2 of Act 37 of 1997 (the Counterfeit Goods Act) during the period of suspension. In addition Khanwas sentenced to 12months’imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of contravening Section 14 of the NRCS Act during the period of suspension. Additionally, Khan’s company, Greatech cc, was fined R20 000 for contraven- ing the Counterfeit Goods Act and R5 000 for contravening the NRCS Act.

The convictions relate to Khan selling 80 CBI-branded circuit breakers to Mystic Plumbing and Hardware Supplies in Midrand during January and April 2013. According to a document read out in court, on 4 April 2013, CBI-electric : low voltage“caused test purchases”of one CBI-branded 20 A circuit breaker and one CBI-branded 10 A circuit breaker fromMystic Plumbing and Hardware. CBI-electric : low voltage obtained a search and seizure warrant and, on 9 April 2013, a “duly designated inspector”conducted a search of the company’s premises and found 78 CBI-branded circuit breakers, which were seized under the Counterfeit Goods Act. According to the document, Khan failed to take all reasonable steps to avoid contra- vening the Counterfeit Goods Act“by not becoming apprehensive”when his supplier informed him that the devices were im- ported from the People’s Republic of China and“regarding the irregularly low price” of the devices. Khan also failed to take any reasonable steps“to verify the authenticity of the devices”. However, subsequent to the seizure of the counterfeit devices, Khan had stopped selling the products. Khan’s conviction under the NRCS Act relates to the same 80 circuit breakers, “to which a compulsory specification ap- plies”, namely the compulsory specifica- tion for circuit breakers VC 8036. CBI-electric : low voltage conducted tests on 61 of the seized circuit breakers and, according to the document read in court, the tests“revealed that those devices were not in accordance with, did not comply with and were not manufac- tured in accordance with the compul- sory specification for circuit breakers VC 8036 and which do not comply with SANS 10142-1, governed by the Occupa- tional Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993 as amended”. Khan had furthermore admitted that the devices tested by CBI-electric : low voltage were“not safe and not func- tioning safely and correctly during the normal and abnormal circuit conditions” thereby contravening the related provi- sions of the NRCS Act. Aggravating circumstances listed in the document included that“the posses- sion of counterfeit circuit breakers place

Michael Straton to serve another year

The annual general meeting of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of SA took place on 21 November and as the only nominations received were for the current office bearers, Michael Straton will serve another year as president of the ECA(SA) – a unanimous decision that was greeted with applause from the members present. Seen after the AGM are the ECA(SA)’s Johnny Cunniff (first vice-president), Mark Mfikoe (national director), Michael Straton (president) and Thursdon Duncan (second vice-president).


january 2015


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