South Africa’s unusual electrical plugs and sockets are headed for retirement

If you’ve ever traveled to South Africa and tried to use your multi-country adapter to recharge your phone or laptop, you may have been surprised that your adapter could not fit into the country’s unique sockets.

South Africa is now  putting the electrical plugs and sockets the nation has relied on for generations on the road to retirement. The plugs, which feature three large pins configured in a triangle, are giving way to a compact hexagonal three-pin design, with sockets following suit.

The new plug and socket, which is based on the latest international standard, accommodates the European-type two-pin plugs on cellphone chargers and small appliances, as well as a two-pin plug based on a German design that comes attached to most power tools imported into the country.

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