South Africa has one of the world’s most unsafe sockets!  One of the reasons is due to the rather large holes needed to accommodate the pins of the mating plug top.  This leads children to want to fiddle and they can easily access the live receptacles inside in a number of ( creative ) ways!  This system was in use in the UK until the 1970’s and was updated to the flat pin style they now use.  For reasons of economy  South Africa did not switch over then but is switching over now to a new socket designed in 1986 by the IEC to be a worldwide standard [ IEC 60906-1 ]  that is far superior and eminently more safe.  In hindsight just as well as this now puts us into the forefront of new socket design and electricity safety as well as allowing more compatibility with all new products that have the 2 pin Euro plug.

The new socket has  three much smaller pin holes placed closer together,  minimizing the size of both the plug top and socket. For those well acquainted with the sockets of the world, they  might well recognize the new socket to be similar to the Brazilian socket. [ The only other country to have adopted this standard so far. ]  South Africa will be getting a 16A version of the socket that has already been specified in SANS 164-2.  This is not  to be confused either with the 10A Swiss socket which looks very similar at first glance. The new socket will be highly beneficial in many ways, yet there is still a bit of controversy regarding the choice of the replacement socket…

Some would rather have SA adopt a European or American socket which is more widely used than the IEC / Brazilian which is currently only used in Brazil. [They originally had a hybrid USA and 2 pin Euro style socket that was even more unsafe than the existing SA 3 pin] The reason for the final choice as made by SABS in 2013 is the fact that the Brazilian socket is rated as the world’s safest socket other than the Swiss.   It has a “skirt” (similar to that of  some of the current circular SA 2-pin sockets) and is recessed to keep the live and neutral pins from being accessed while they are connected,  unlike our current SA 3-pin which allows for easy access particularly if the plug is partially withdrawn.

Tony McDonald, who was a member of the SABS committee that decided on the new IEC / Brazil socket standard, says that the socket can easily and safely accommodate the European  2 pin plug,  making the new choice more desirable on an international level as European travelers can easily use the new SA sockets without having to buy expensive adapters.  The current SA 3-pin socket is responsible for about R500 milion worth of electrical fires annually which begs the question, why did South Africa not adopted a new socket sooner? According to sources, the new sockets will be implemented from April 2014 although the sockets have been on some South African electrical outlets shelves for quite some time.  From 2015 all new installations must have the new sockets and in 15 to 20 years all the old style will have to be phased out.

Power Logic is in the forefront of the new design having already designed and developed the Brazil type socket some years ago for our products to be exported to Brazil and so to comply with the SANS 164-2 Standard was an easy adaptation meaning these are now already available for our range of products.

For more information on purchasing the new South-African socket, please contact Powerlogic SA.




With South Africa soon to get new power outlets, Power Logic already has the new SANS 164-2 sockets production ready!  The Power Logic power outlets are sunk into the unit’s surface to make it less obtrusive and stronger.  They will be available in black, grey and white as well as a few other selected colours which can be supplied on special request.

PLSA’s sockets adhere to strict SANS safety standards and  ISO 9000 manufacturing Quality requirements,  making us the preferred supplier of choice.  Our product was recently featured in an image used by News24 in an article discussing the new IEC sockets that are soon to be introduced in South Africa.