1-Editor's-Letter

EDITOR’S LETTER


Dear Men of the World

Have you started growing your trendsetting moustache? Or is your wife / partner still not too keen on the idea?

You can still support your fellow brothers by encouraging each other to go for a medical check-up before the Bokke take on Wales on a Saturday afternoon.

Stand together. We need you… to open our wine bottles, to remind us that we are complicated (and that it is okay), to mo(w) the lawn, and to tell us that we are the most beautiful creatures in the world (amongst other things).

Be a man. Stand up for men’s health. Before we start doing it for you and participate in No-Shave November. Not a threat, just a warning.

Sincerely,

Women (and admirers) of the World

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SUSPICIOUS BUILDING ACTIVITES


– Nadia Burger

Is your once soothing view of the distant mountains now obscured by the three storyed building rising up right in front of your two storyed office or home?

A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal -BSB International Link CC v Readam South Africa (Pty) Ltd (279/2015) [2016] ZASCA 58; [2016] 2 All SA 633 (SCA); 2016 (4) SA 83 (SCA) (13 April 2016) has paved a way for property owners or occupiers to take control of illegal building activities of neighbours.

BSB International Link CC (BSB) undertook building operations on their property of a new retail/ office building development. Readam South Africa (Readam) was the neighbouring property owners. Readam argued that BSB:

1. Undertook building activities without prior written approval of building plans by the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality as required in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 (the Act) and;

2. Building activities were also in contravention of the Sandton Town Planning Scheme.

The reason for Readam approaching the court for relief in its initial High Court application was due to the fact that the Municipality was uncooperative in enforcing its own building and zoning laws. Readam sought relief from the municipality but was unsuccessful. Therefore, they approached the High Court directly for a demolition order. The High Court found that BSB did not comply with zoning provisions and that the municipality had in fact cancelled its initial approval of building plans. The court found that building activities were unlawful as there was no initial approval of the building plans due to the fact that the available building plans contained the word “cancelled” on the manuscript with two transverse lines drawn across it. Based on this, the court ordered partial demolition of the building and compliance with zoning laws. BSB appealed the court order and sought relief that the partial demolition order had to be set aside.

BSB failed the appeal and the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the following:

1. BSB clearly contravened zoning provisions with their building activities;

2. BSB argued that they did receive approval of their building plans. The appeal court found that said approval should rather be reviewed and set aside opposed to the finding of the High Court stating that there was no initial approval of building plans.

In terms of the Act, only a Minister or Municipality can approach the court for a demolition order. But this does not leave an individual, such as Readam without remedy. Therefore, when you as a neighbour, bring a demolition application, the court has a discretion to order demolition. Keep in mind that when bringing such an application as a neighbour, private- or neighbour law applies and the court is not obligated to grant a demolition order. In such an application, the court can also decide to reward damages for illegal building activities.

First prize will therefore always be for the municipality to do their job and bring an application for demolition where illegal building activities are taking place.

ARE YOU A PROVERBIAL GUNSLINGER?


– Tjaart de Beer

Since the inception of the new Firearms Control Act No. 60 of 2000 (“the Act”) and commencement thereof in 2004, a lot has been said and changed from what every “gunslinger” in South Africa was used to. The main aim, pun intended, of the Act was to curb gun violence in our country with stricter control concerning the issuing of firearm licences, the ownership thereof and all related thereto. How successful that really was, might not be revealed nor observed from the reports in the news, but will not be delved into. Rather, here is what you require to know on renewing your firearm licences.

Only a few key areas to be aware of after the purchasing of a firearm, more specific, pertaining to the maintaining of the licence(s) itself, will be discussed.

The website of the South African Police Service, www.saps.gov.za, contains all the need-to-know information, inter alia, the legalities of the ownership of firearms, the application forms for new applications and renewals and the fees payable when applying.

Ownership is divided into 7 (seven) categories, in terms of the Act. Each of these categories also has a period of validity from the date of issue where after an application for renewal has to be submitted 90 days prior to the date of expiry. These categories are1:

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The purpose for the expiry and subsequent renewal is to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act. This supports the notion of firearm and ammunition ownership being under better control and promotes responsible behaviour.2

The renewal application process relies on the following3:

1. The continuation of complying with the requirements for the licence in terms of the Act;

2. Application to be submitted at least 90 days prior to the expiry of the licence; and

3. A valid and relevant competency certificate.

The process entails the following, starting with applying for the renewal of a competency certificate:

• Completing a SAPS 517 (g) form (Application for renewal of a competency certificate)
• Submission of the application form with the following supporting documentation to the designated firearms officer (DFO) at the police station in the area where you normally reside:
✓ certified copy of your official identification document or passport
✓ certified copy of your permanent residence permit in case of a non- South African citizen
✓ certified copy of your current competency certificate which is to be renewed (front and back)
✓ two passport-size colour photographs (with a neutral background) that are not older than three months
✓ certified proof of residence
✓ two testimonials attesting your character with the signature of the deponent
✓ any other supporting documents

Then, for the renewal of the licence, take the following documentation to the DFO at the police station nearest to where you reside:

• your official identity document (certified copy of permanent residence for a non-South African citizen)
• the original firearm licence, permit or authorisation for a firearm you wish to renew
• two recent passport-size colour photographs, not older than three months
• competency certificate
• the SAPS 518(a) form with the relevant sections completed

The Designated Firearm Officer will:

• take a full set of your fingerprints on the SAPS 91(a) form (only for a competency certificate).
• issue you with a remittance advice SAPS 523(a) and direct you to the financial office at the police station to pay the prescribed fee. The payment must be made by means of cash or a bank-guaranteed cheque. You will be issued with a receipt (Z263) as proof of payment, which you must submit to the DFO to ensure that the processing of the application will continue. You will receive a signed acknowledgement of receipt (SAPS 523) as proof that you have submitted an application for a renewal of a licence to possess a firearm. This proof will allow the current licence or permit to remain valid until the status of the application has been decided on.

The costs involved can be confirmed with the DFO at the nearest police station.

I had to reapply for my licence earlier this year and it was a fairly smooth process. Of course it took time to process, but I was kept up to date by text messages and received an e-mail to collect the renewal. I was quite surprised by the level of service I received, as I was not looking forward to undergo the strenuous application process.

Stay within the law and happy gunsling’in days will be sure-fire.

1 http://www.saps.gov.za/services/flash/firearms/faq_categories.php. Website visited 28 October 2016 at 09h40. (visited on 14 July 2016)

2 http://www.saps.gov.za/services/flash/firearms/faq_renewal.php. Website visited 28 October 2016 at 10h30.

3 http://www.saps.gov.za/services/flash/firearms/faq_renewal.php. Website visited 28 October 2016 at 10h45.

DON’T LET YOUR DREAMS BE ONLY DREAMS


– Alicia van der Ryst

What if you woke up this morning with a brilliant idea, one that could change the world as you know it, but alas, you do not know where to start or how to make it happen? Let us rephrase then… What if you woke up with a brilliant idea and you got into your car and drove to JJR Incorporated to set the ball rolling?

In an ever changing world it cannot be denied that ideas and inventions form part of our existence, but it is also true that only a few ideas ever get to see the light of day.

The only element that sets some ideas apart from the rest is the acknowledgement thereof. For an idea to be acknowledged it must be to the benefit of the community, it must be in public interest and it must improve current technology. You must also be sure of which category of intellectual property your idea falls into in order to get the best possible protection for your idea or invention.

There are 4 main categories that intellectual property branch into, namely patents, trademarks, designs and copyright.

What is a patent?

The CIPC defines a patent as:

An exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

The patent provides protection for the owner, which gives him/her the right to exclude others from making, using, exercising, disposing of the invention, offering to dispose, or importing the invention. The protection is granted for a limited period of 20 years.

What is a Trade Mark?

The CIPC defines a trade mark as:

A trade mark is a brand name, a slogan or a logo. It identifies the services or goods of one person and distinguishes it from the goods and services of another.

A trade mark can only be protected as such and defended under the Trade Marks Act, 1993 (Act 194 of 1993) if it is registered. Unregistered trade marks may be defended in terms of common law. The registration procedure results in a registration certificate which has legal status, allowing the owner of the registered trade mark the exclusive right to use that mark. A registered trade mark can be protected forever, provided it is renewed every ten (10) years upon payment of the prescribed renewal fee.

What is a Design?

The CIPC defines a design as:

Essentially a “Design” is about shape and features that appeal to the eye.

Some designs are necessitated by function and others are aesthetic. Design is about the shape, form, pattern, ornamentation and configuration of a product or article for e.g. the design of a ring (jewelry) is generally dictated by aesthetic features.

There are 2 types of designs which can be registered, namely an aesthetic design or a functional design.

Protection is afforded to aesthetic designs for a period of 15 years, and to functional designs for a period 10 years.

Registered designs have to be renewed annually before the expiration of the third year, as from the date of lodgment.

What is Copyright?

The CIPC defines copyright as:

A copyright is an exclusive right granted by law for a limited period to an author, designer, etc. for his/her original work.

Unlike other forms of intellectual property, copyright does not need to be registered, except for cinematograph films.

The lifespan of copyright depends on the type of work protected:

• The copyright of literacy works lasts for 50 years after death of the author.
• The copyright of computer programs lasts for 50 years after the first copies were made available to the public.
• For sound recordings, the copyright lasts for 50 years from the day the work was first broadcast.
• For films, 50 years from the date the film was shown.

It is important that you effectively manage your idea or invention to ensure that you get the best protection and the most out of your idea or invention.

The creator of an idea or invention is not necessarily the owner – it is important that ownership is addressed through appropriate contractual arrangements. Let us help you to get the best possible protection.

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This newsletter is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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