Compulsory specification for electrical luminaires proposed for comment

November 12th, 2014, Published in Articles: Vector


Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Rob Davies has proposed a compulsory specification, VC9012 for electrical luminaires, under the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act, act 5 of 2008. The closing date for comment is 31 December 2014.

The proposed compulsory specification covers general requirements for electrical luminaires intended to be used by “ordinary persons” and incorporates electric light sources for operation from supply voltages up to 1000 V. These are generally available through normal retail distribution channels.

These luminaires include:

  • Portable luminaires such as hand lamps, portable luminaires for children, portable garden luminaires, lighting chains, luminaires for standby lighting etc.
  • Fixed luminaires for decorative domestic applications including pendant luminaires and luminaires specifically designed for wall mounting at low mounting heights, aquarium luminaires, luminaires designed for regular adjustment and ground-recessed luminaires.
  • Floodlights for tungsten halogen lamps.
  • Floodlights for LED light sources of power rating < 50 W for domestic applications.
  • Floodlights for HID lamps of power rating < 70 W for domestic applications.
  • Photo and film luminaires (non-professional).

Luminaires which are generally installed by skilled persons or instructed persons are excluded from this compulsory specification. These include:

  • Luminaires for road and street lighting.
  • Luminaires for stage lighting and for television, film and photographic studios (professional).
  • Fixed and recessed luminaires for commercial and industrial applications.
  • Floodlights for HID lamps with power ratings of 70W or LED light sources with power ratings of 50 W for commercial and industrial applications.
  • Luminaires for emergency lighting.
  • Luminaires for signaling.
  • Luminaires sold for use in hazardous applications and environments.
  • Luminaires designed and sold exclusively for industrial purposes.
  • Luminaires designed for use in locations where special conditions such as explosive atmospheres prevail.
  • SELV luminaires (luminaires powered by under 50 V supply).

The general requirements for this specification include that the applicant shall ensure that each type of luminaire is approved by the NRCS before offering it for sale. He shall inform the NRCS of any change in design or materials affecting any mandatory requirement in terms of the specification.

Should such changes occur, the NRCS may, at its discretion, demand that the applicant submit a new application for approval. He shall also, on request, provide the NRCS with satisfactory proof of approval in respect of any type of luminaire included in the scope of this compulsory specification within five work days. Failure to provide this proof shall constitute reasonable grounds for suspicion of non-compliance with the requirements of this compulsory specification.

The specific requirements of the specification are:

  • Luminaires shall comply with the relevant requirements of SANS 60598-1 Luminaires – Part 1, General requirements and tests, together with the appropriate part 2 of the SANS 60598 series.
  • All luminaires with fluorescent, HID and LED light sources shall comply with the power factor requirements of SANS 475, Luminaires for interior lighting, street lighting and floodlighting – performance requirements.

Equivalence of standards

Standards issued by different standardisation bodies such as ISO and EN will only be accepted if it is proven, in the form of a declaration report from an accredited conformity assessment body, that they are technically equivalent to the relevant South African National Standard. The applicant shall be responsible for obtaining this declaration report. Proof of conformity with such a standard shall be accepted as conformity with the corresponding South African National Standard.

Conformity to referenced standards

For the purposes of this compulsory specification, a new edition of a referenced standard shall become effective a year after the date of publication as a South African National Standard.

New products, or products resubmitted for approval because of a change in design or materials, shall in all cases be evaluated against the requirements of the latest edition of any referenced standard.

When a new edition of a referenced standard is published, products originally approved in accordance with the previous edition of that standard may have their approval extended for up to five years from the effective date of the new standard unless declared otherwise by the minister.

Evidence of conformity

One of the following options of evidence shall be submitted to the NRCS as proof of conformity with the requirements of this compulsory specification:

Option 1: for luminaires without a product certification

Test reports in IEC/EN format or any equivalent format acceptable to the NRCS and issued by an appropriately accredited and internationally recognized body being a member of an AF/ILAC/IECEE mutual recognition scheme in accordance with the NRCS’s conformity assessment policy.

The test reports shall prove conformity with all the applicable mandatory requirements and evidence of conformity shall be traceable to the specific luminaire type(s).

Option 2: for luminaires with product certification

A product certificate and a valid test report issued by an appropriately accredited and internationally recognised body which is member of an IAF/ILAC/IECEE mutual recognition scheme, in accordance with the NRCS’ conformity assessment policy.

The certification system administered by this product certification body shall include testing of the products and assessment of the quality system of the manufacturer.

Surveillance of the quality system shall be conducted. Either representative samples of luminaires or of luminaires which are similar in terms of components’ wiring methods and which are intended to comply with this compulsory specification shall be taken from the point of production and assessed through inspection and testing for ongoing conformity.

The certification system shall include the following:

  • Samples from the point of production requested by the certification body.
  • Determination of the characteristics of the samples by testing.
  • Initial assessment of the production process and quality system.
  • Evaluation of the test reports.
  • Decision on certification of the manufacturer.
  • Granting certification to the manufacturer.
  • Surveillance of the production process and quality system.
  • Surveillance by testing of samples from the factory or the market.

A system 5 certification contemplated in ISO/IEC Guide 67, which covers the requirements of this clause, shall be deemed to comply with these requirements.

The full proposed specification can be viewed at Comments will be collated by the IESSA Technology Committee and forwarded to the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Send your comments to

Contact Sue Swash, IESSA, Tel 011 476-4171,












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