28th June 2022
To All Licensed Plumbers
RE: PIRB AND THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ISSUING OF A PLUMBING CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE (CoC)
As of Friday afternoon, the 24th June, the government gazette pertaining to amendments to SANS 10254 in respect to the removal of the certificate of compliance has been published.
We would not say that we are not disappointed at this, but as to the removal of the CoC, but more so that our collective voices as the plumbing industry have been totally ignored. The SABS implemented this amendment as a result of changes to their interpretation of the standards act and indicated that the same change will be implemented in all other industries as well.
While the gazette notice has been published, rest assured it is far from over. Along with our trusted industry partners we will continue to engage with the various authorities to voice our discontent so that we can continue to strive towards a compliant and safe plumbing environment.
So, while this has taken place many may be asking what now for your Professional Body and the CoCs?
The short and simple answer is that nothing has changed. It is business as usually
for us, as the only registered Professional Body for Plumbers, the Professional Bodies
CoC and you the registered Licensed Plumber. But read on of more detail.
Will your Professional Body survive?
What certain quarters fail to understand is that without you the Licensed Plumber,
there is no CoC. A CoC is merely a piece of paper.
The true value does not lie in the CoC. The true value lies within all of us standing
and acting together, not only as a profession but as Professional Licensed Plumbers.
PIRB, as the only professional body is merely a conduit to direct this value into the
The PIRB has been around long before the introduction of the CoC the survival of
the PIRB is not dependent on a CoC, and certainly not that of a private company or
entity. The survival of the PIRB is dependent on every one of us working together
and acting together as true professional plumbers through your Professional Body.
Does the Professional Body CoC fall away?
The Professional body CoC and the respective functions and value proposition that
you, the Licensed Plumber brings to the CoC, remains in place. This change, in so far
as you as the Licensed Plumber having to issuing a CoC applies only to the SANS
It is, however, vitally important to understand that while SANS 10254 no longer
compels you to issue a CoC in respect of geysers, it does not deny you the fact that
as a Licensed Plumbers you can continue to issue the Professional Body CoC. In
doing so it gives the reassurance to your clients that as a Licensed Plumber, you are
not only standing by your work, but opening it up for scrutiny, which nonprofessional
and non-licensed plumbers are unable to do.
Equally, in as much as you have a choice to issue a professional Body CoC for all
of your plumbing work, it is equally the choice of your client to request a
Professional Body CoC from you. Various industry stakeholders have
acknowledged the importance role that a Professional body makes to an industry
in respect of proactive auditing, accountability, continuous professional
development (CPD) etc. These stakeholders understand the professional values
and assurances of a Professional Body registered under the NQF Act, and as such
have indicated their willingness to continue making use of a Professional Body
Licensed plumber and they that issue a Professional Bodies CoC’s for there work.
Will the Professional Body CoC return for geysers?
There is false misconception, that other Acts and Regulations mandate the issuing
of a CoC for geyser replacement or repairs. This is certainly not the case. With the
exception of very few local bylaws, SANS 10254 was the only requirements, and as
such this amendment has created an empty space for our Profession, opening the
door to unscrupulous individuals and non-licensed plumbers to operate.
While this is, PIRB along with its trusted industry partners are moving forward, with
more determination, finding a solution to proactively promoting better plumbing
practices and strengthen you, the South African Professional Plumber.
Watch this space!
Is the PIRB unconstitutional?
Much has been claimed by certain quarters in the industry that PIRB is acting
unconstitutionally. It is unfortunate that such utterly false accusations are being
made with the intended purpose of destroying your Professional Body.
As part of these accusations, section 22 of the South African Constitution has been
continually quoted, to show this supposed unconstitutionality. While the section
quoted is not incorrect, one needs to quote the full section, so that the full picture
can be seen:
The full extract reads:
Section 22: Freedom of trade, occupation and profession
“Every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession
freely. The practice of a trade, occupation or profession may be regulated
So, while the freedom for any person practicing their trade such as plumbing, is not
incorrect, it is misconception that it is not unconstitutional that a trade may be
governed by law such as a professional body.
“Don’t let a strong wind blow you over, take flight upon it.”
Along with other trusted industry partners, will continue to grow from strength to strength, making a difference to the South African plumbing sector for you, the Professional Licensed Plumbers. It is inevitable that while we grow, we can, and will expect to catch the wind. Truth be told, we welcome it, because storms and winds not only keep us on our toes, but make us stronger by taking deeper roots. In closing, we would like to thank you for your continued support of your Professional Body. It is because of your desires and support that as a collective we will continue to bring professionalism to the trade of plumbing. If you require any further information and or clarification, please feel free to contact the office of PIRB or visit www.pirb.co.za.
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