Electric Fence Supplies: Steel Posts vs. CCA Treated Timber Posts

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Electric Fence with CCA Poles
Whether you are going DIY with your electric fence or looking for a proper installer for your fence, one thing is for sure: You need to get the right electric fencing supplies. That’s why we are dedicating an entire post on electric fencing posts. Where to get them, how to take care of them, and most importantly, what you should be paying for them.

Benefits of Electric Fence

Living in South Africa can be daunting. We all know crime is constantly on the rise and we need to be ready for anything, anytime. Therefore, it is inevitable for us to be aware and prepared for everything. So why should you put up an electric fence? Here are a few benefits:

  • Deter, Detect and Delay. This means that it will momentarily delay any intruders. The shock from a fence is not enough to be lethal, but it definitely will give the intruder a shock (literally and figuratively). This will give you time to react accordingly.
  • Easy to install. While it is always recommended to have a professional install an electric fence, it is known that it is a relatively easy process to set up an electric fence. The other benefit is that it can be put up around existing fences too.
  • Low Maintenance Cost. Electric Fencing required minimal maintenance costs as the wires are covered in a protective layer to prevent rusting from the natural elements. We will explore additional ways to save money in the following segments of our post.

Electric Fence Maintenance: CCA Treated Timber Poles vs. Steel Posts

When it comes to installing an electric fence, you want to make sure you get the right fencing supplies that will be easy to maintain for a long time. That’s why we will be discussing both SABS Approved CCA Treated Timber Poles and Steel Posts.

electric fence maintenance

Steel Posts for your Electric Fence

When you are constructing your fence with steel it’s important to remember not to mix metals:

Using different types of metals. Don’t do it. When you hook up steel wire to copper something call electrolysis happens and the metal becomes corroded, making a poor contact and weakening shocking power.” – Electric Fence Australia 

Therefore, when purchasing your steel posts, enquire with the fencing company which steel you would require in order to prevent electrolysis.

Furthermore, steel posts will need constant maintenance. This is as a result of the steel not being able to withstand the constant change of weather conditions etc. Steel posts will have to be sanded down and repainted and sealed at least once a year. But weather changes dramatically from place to place. Consequently, you might have to repaint more frequently.


SABS Approved Treated Timber Poles as Posts

Treated Timber has been used in fencing for ages. It’s been used in places like Cattle Kraals/Pens, domestic fencing and so much more. But these Treated Timber Poles will also work perfectly for an electric fence.

Treated TImber Poles come in a variety of sizes and prices. Therefore, you can get the correct strength that you need for your electric fence.

**Whenever you are purchasing Treated Timber, it is of the utmost importance that you ensure your supplier is SABS and NRCS approved. This will guarantee that you get the highest quality treated timber for your project. 

Treated Timber Poles will require the least amount of maintenance. The poles can be planted and should last a minimum of 15 years without being re-painted as long as you buy the right class of treated timber for your application.


We all want to know we are getting the most out of the products we buy. That is why we will compare the cost of the initial setup for steel and treated timber posts as well as the maintenance that they require over a 15-year span. This way you can make an informed decision on your road to buying quality electric fencing supplies!

Electric fencing CCA Treated Timber Poles

Steel Posts Costs:

Initial Cost: The initial cost of steel in South Africa is generally more expensive than CCA Treated Timber. Additionally, the steel will have to be sanded down (If it required any sanding due to rust, previous paint etc.).  But let’s get to the bottom line that you’re here for:

On AVERAGE in South Africa Prices are: 

Corner Posts: 2.4m (70mm) Around R250.00 per Pole EXCL VAT

Standard posts between Corner Posts: 2.4m 30mm Y- approx R67.00 per pole excl.VAT  (It is recommended that they are planted 3m apart in between cornet posts)

Droppers between standard posts: 1.8m (15mm square or round) approx R16 each. (it is recommended that they are planted 1m apart in between standard posts – i.e. 2 droppers between every standard post)

If we work it out on a basic size of 1444 square-meter area (Each side of the fence 38m long) with a gate opening of 2m, the calculations will work out as follows:

6 Corner/gate Posts = R1 500.00

48 Standard steel posts = R3 216.00

96 Steel droppers = R1536

In conclusion, for the electric fencing posts with steel, the initial cost will work out to R6 252.00. excluding VAT


Because Southern Africa has such a wide spectrum of weather conditions, it is difficult to work out an exact cost for maintenance. Some fences will require bi-yearly cleaning and re-painting whereas others only require re-paint once a year. There are a wide variety of paints, sanding paper, and sealers on the market which makes it virtually impossible to work out a price, however, we have tried our best to work it out for you (Maintenance of steel posts once a year)

Sanding Paper (320 grit, pack of 50) – About R9.00 per 280mm x 230mm x 3 pieces

Sealer (5l) – About R630.00

Labour – R200 minimum per day x 3 days minimum x 15 (years) = R9000

Over the course of 15 years, this will lead to a total maintenance cost of approximately R18 855.00. excluding VAT

Electric Fence CCA Treated Timber Fence

SABS-approved CCA Treated Timber Poles

Initial Cost: The initial cost is generally lower than steel posts in South Africa. We cannot place enough emphasis on the fact that you always need to buy from a SABS and NRCS-approved supplier when buying CCA Treated Timber.

We have worked out our prices according to Sabie Pole’s price list which you can download on our website.

Corner Posts (Size length 2,4m, 125-149) mm thick – R103,80 excluding VAT

Posts between Corner Posts 2.4m (75-99) mm – R51.60

Droppers between posts: 1.8m (32-49) mm – R8.20

If we work it out on a basic size of 1444 square-meter area (Each side of the fence 38m long), the calculations will work out as follows:

6 Corner Posts = R622.80

48 CCA Treated Timber posts = R2 476,80

96 CCA treated droppers = R787,20

In conclusion, for the electric fencing posts with wood, the initial cost will work out to R3886.00

Maintenance: CCA Treated Timber will often last a minimum of 15 years and require no maintenance. Therefore, the maintenance cost for CCA Treated Timber is R0.00

Benefits of using CCA Treated Timber for your Electric Fence:

  • Less likely to get stolen. It is common knowledge that steel poles get stolen and sold to scrapyards for cash. Therefore, you can circumvent these situations altogether by using CCA Treated timber. Not only do they last longer, and require less maintenance but are also less likely to get stolen!
  • Appearance. CCA Treated Timber will fade in with nature and animals as it is a natural element. Therefore, it adds aesthetic value to your fencing.
  • Maintenance. Little to no maintenance is required when you put up any fence with CCA Treated Timber Poles and droppers.
  • Cost. Treated Poles are the most cost-effective material to build your electric fence with as can be seen by the calculation above.
  • Environmentally Friendly and Easier to Handle. Steel droppers and poles can get extremely hot in the sun, thus, it makes it difficult to work with. Additionally, there is a greater risk of injury (cuts) by the steel droppers.

In conclusion, CCA Treated Timber is the most cost-effective electric fencing post material. Additionally, it does not have any maintenance. CCA Treated Poles will last a minimum of 15 years so you can rest easy.

If you are looking to buy CCA Treated Timber, feel free to contact us. We will readily assist with prices and advice regarding sizes and lengths.

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