SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

Occupational Certificate: Medium Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner 
104793  Occupational Certificate: Medium Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner 
Development Quality Partner - ESKOM 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 12 - Physical Planning and Construction  Electrical Infrastructure Construction 
Undefined  291  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 086/21  2021-07-01  2023-12-31 
2024-12-31   2027-12-31  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

This qualification will qualify the learner to constructs medium voltage overhead power lines.

A Medium Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner constructs medium voltage overhead power line structures.

This occupation includes the skills and knowledge required for the trade of Electrical Line Mechanic, in the context of Low and Medium Voltage infrastructure. This is a key occupation to deliver on the South African Government's Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP) which was established to provide basic access to electricity for all citizens of South Africa.

This occupation includes the following special skills:
  • Low Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner.
  • Medium Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner.
  • Low Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner.
  • Medium Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner.

    In order to meet this ambitious target of providing electricity to an additional 14 million households, the number of people practising this trade has to be substantially increased. While such electrical line mechanics have been trained in the past, they have not had recognition through a formal qualification or through formal programmes such as apprenticeships or learnerships.

    Typically, learners will be unemployed youth drawn from the communities which are the focus of the electrification or upgrade programmes. Qualifying learners will generally be employed by Small, Medium and Micro Entrepreneurs (SMME) contractors who carry out the work for the utilities, to build, inspect, maintain, repair and upgrade electrical transmission, distribution and reticulation equipment. Some will be permanently employed by the utilities themselves. Once they have acquired sufficient experience, qualifying learners will be able to select from a number of vertical and horizontal career opportunities including performing more specialised construction and electrical maintenance work, and establishing their own contracting companies.

    A formal qualification is an essential mechanism to help ensure that the construction, inspection, maintenance and repair of electrical infrastructure is performed according to the relevant design and operational standards and contractual agreements, which includes maintaining the quality and the continuity of electrical supply and ensuring that the impact of such work on the environment is minimised. Rigorous and extensive training is also required in order to ensure the safety of the workers, the public and ultimately the energy consumer. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for Access to the Integrated Assessment:
    Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and conform prior learning. Prior learning must be acknowledged by a statement of results.

    RPL for Access to the Qualification:
    Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
    Level 4: Occupational Certificate: Low Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skill and Work Experience Modules:

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-01, Introduction to the World of Work and the Trade of Electrical Line Mechanic, Level 3, 3 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-02, Safety, Health, Environment, Risk and Quality Principles in the Workplace, Level 3, 4 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-03, Hand Tools and Portable Power Tools, Level 2, 6 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-04, Electrical Measuring Instruments, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-05, Fundamentals of Electricity, Level 2, 3 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-08, Earthing and Bonding, Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-10, Transformers, Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-11, Cables and Conductors, Level 3, 3 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-13, Principles and Concepts of Electrical Line Construction, Level 4, 25 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-14, Principles of Concrete Practice, Level 2, 5 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-15, Rigging and Lifting Equipment used in Line Construction Work, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-16, Gas heating and cutting principles, Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-KM-17, Power Line Construction Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Fundamentals, Level 3, 25 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 96.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-01, Use Specialised Tools and Equipment, Level 2, 26 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-02, Construct Concrete Foundations, Level 2, 10 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-04, Read and Interpret Line Route Drawings, Level 3, 8 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-05, Erect Medium Voltage Power Line Structures, Level 4, 34 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-07, Install Medium Voltage Power Line Cables and Conductors, Level 3, 16 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-09, Install Medium Voltage Power Line Equipment, Level 3, 18 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-13, Inspect Power Lines and Equipment, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-PM-18, Write technical reports, Level 3, 5 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 125.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 671301-001-01-00-WM-01, Medium Voltage Power Line Structures Erection Processes, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-WM-02, Medium Voltage Power Lines Installation Processes, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-WM-03, Medium Voltage Power Line Erection Configuration Processes, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-WM-07, Interpersonal Interactions and Team Work, Level 3, 22 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-00-WM-08, Power Line Construction Planning and Scheduling Processes, Level 4, 26 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 70. 

    2. Construct medium voltage overhead electrical power lines and install related equipment. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Powerlines and equipment are installed safely, to specifications and within the specified time.
  • All powerline construction and installation work is planned and carried out systematically and risk assessments are conducted for each aspect of the work.
  • Appropriate lifting and rigging equipment is selected and used according to specifications.
  • Knowledge and understanding of construction principles and regulations are demonstrated.
  • Construction and installation work is done neatly with due care and consideration for quality, craftsmanship and pride in the work.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality Partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria.

    The external summative assessment will be a trade test as prescribed under section 26 D of the SDA and defined in the Trade Test Regulations. It will be conducted through an evaluation of written and practical tasks covering critical aspects in a simulated environment at an assessment centre accredited by QCTO and conducted by an assessor registered by the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB). The assessment will take place over a minimum of 2 days and must be contextualised for distribution or reticulation. 

    Background to the occupation:
    Any country with an electrical transmission and distribution network needs to employ Electrical Line Mechanics to build, inspect, maintain, repair, upgrade, and or dismantle of infrastructure to ensure the availability of electrical supply to customers. They are known as:
  • Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers (United States of America (USA), SOC 49-9051).
  • Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers (Canada, NOC 7244).
  • Electrical Linesworkers (Australia,).
  • Electrical Line Mechanics (New Zealand, ANZCO 342211).
  • Overhead Linesworkers (United Kingdom, SOC2010 5429).

    Those who work in the context of electrified railways are included by both Australia and Great Britain as a specialisation within this occupation (Railway Traction Line Worker and Railway Linesman respectively).

    An analysis of the occupations in the various countries shows that there is a great deal of similarity. This is due to the fact that the principles of construction processes, the equipment, the tools and the occupational challenges they face are all very similar. This similarity is found in:
  • The occupational descriptors for electrical line mechanics across these various countries.
  • The tasks they perform.
  • The equipment they work on.
  • The tools they use.
  • The occupational challenges.
  • The training they receive.

    The occupational challenges include working at heights, in inclement weather, across a wide range of terrains and on a variety of geographical sites.

    The occupational contexts are mostly broken down into transmission (high voltage, cross-country lines) and distribution (medium voltage and low voltage lines between substations and the client).

    Training of Overhead Electrical Line Mechanics:
    The training of Electrical Line Mechanics is generally based on an apprenticeship or apprenticeship-type system which combines a formal learning component with extensive on-the-job training and experience. Apprenticeships for Electrical Line Mechanics may last between 3 and 5 years. In the latter case this is because that particular apprenticeship is inclusive of low voltage, medium voltage distribution and high voltage infrastructure. The formal component of the qualification lasts between 20 and 26 weeks, which is equivalent to between 80-100 South African credits.

    The South Africa qualification does not include the construction and maintenance of high voltage transmission lines.

    Country selected for comparison:
    A detailed comparison was conducted using the United States of America. The United States of America (USA) has one of the most sophisticated electrical infrastructures in the world as well as a highly developed training infrastructure. Formal training is delivered through community colleges and distance institutions. The offerings of several of these colleges were used to make the detailed comparison. The comparison was based on the following:
  • Entry requirements.
  • Duration.
  • Formal learning duration.
  • Material covered in formal learning.
  • Skills required.
  • High voltage line construction.
  • Crane operating licence.
  • Heavy duty licence.
  • Nationally standardised summative assessment.

    Despite the sophistication of the USA training system, different standards apply in various states and within the utilities themselves. Thus there is no standardised national summative assessment. This has been built into the South African qualification to ensure a level of reliability and standardisation.

    The biggest difference between the two qualifications is the duration. This is due to the following:
  • The USA training is primarily done on-the-job, and advances slowly stage-by-stage through exposure to various different sites and different types of construction work.
  • The USA training includes high voltage work.

    The training process for Electrical Line Mechanics in South Africa will contain a significant portion (50 % of the qualification's credits) of off-the-job training under expert practitioners. This will ensure that less time will need to be spent in the workplace before the final assessment.

    The South Africa qualification does not contain high voltage line construction work. This component has not been included in the South Africa qualification because the focus of this qualification lies in addressing the challenges of expanding access to electricity, i.e. the distribution of electricity, reticulation of cities, towns, industry and electrification of townships and remote rural areas. To achieve this, the priority for utilities is to install, maintain, repair, and upgrade medium and low voltage distribution and reticulation lines and equipment.

    The South African qualification is comparable to what is found in the chosen country, in terms of what the qualification covers and the level of skills that have to be developed. Where it is different, however, it is responding to current transformational challenges in South Africa. 

    Horizontal Articulation
    This qualification articulates horizontally with:
  • Occupational Certificate: Low Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner, Level 4.
  • Occupational Certificate: Medium Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner, Level 4.

    Vertical Articulation:
    This qualification articulates vertically with:
  • National N Diploma: Engineering Studies, Level 6. 



    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of statements of results and work experience including Foundational Learning Competence.

    Additional Legal or Physical Entry Requirements:
  • Learners must meet the legal and medical requirements to function as an Electrical Line Mechanic prior to registering for training; specifically, learners must have a fitness certificate for working at heights.
  • Learners must be able to distinguish colours.

    Criteria for the Accreditation of Skills Development Providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is: Medium Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner; 671301-001-01-02.

    Encompassed Trades:
    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • This is not a trade qualification.

    Assessment Quality Partner:
    National Artisan Moderation Body.

    Parent Qualification:
  • 671301-001-01-00, Overhead Electrical Line Mechanic, Level 4, 574 Credits.

    Derived qualifications related to this qualification:
  • 671301-001-01-01, Occupational Certificate: Low Voltage Power Line Construction Practitioner, Level 4, 259 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-03, Occupational Certificate: Low Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner, Level 4, 359 Credits.
  • 671301-001-01-04, Occupational Certificate: Medium Voltage Power Line Maintenance Practitioner, Level 4, 403 Credits. 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.