A couple of years ago it was much easier to apply for a firearm license than today. The buyer was able to purchase the firearm and submit the SAPS documentation for their application to possess a firearm. Upon the approval of the firearm license, you were then able to collect the purchased firearm from the dealer.


Nowadays, there are various criteria’s you have to meet before applying for your firearm license.

  • You must be 21 years of age;
  • You must be a South African citizen or permanent residence permit holder;
  • You must pass a thorough background check by the SAPS;
  • You must be declared mentally stable and fit;
  • You may not be addicted to any drugs or alcohol;
  • You may not be convicted criminal or have a criminal record.
  • You must know how to use a firearm (you must have successfully be found competent in a basic training course at an accredited training institution).




Firstly, you have to attend prescribed training at an accredited facility which will thereafter issue you with the relevant certificate upon the completion of a theoretical and practical examination to be found competent in either a handgun, shot gun or rifle.


Secondly, you apply for a competency certificate to state that you are competent to own a firearm.

  • You need to complete the relevant SAPS application form and submit it to the Designated Firearms Officer (DFO) at your nearest police station.
  • You will need to have a certified copy of your training certificate and ID document/card;
  • You will need x2 passport photos;
  • You would also be required to provide three motivational letters from family/friends about your character / the kind of person you are.
  • You would also need to provide a letter of motivation as to why you require the competency certificate.
  • You must pay the prescribed fees.
  • You will need to have your fingerprints taken at your Police Station where you are applying for the competency to determine whether you have a criminal record or not in order for the competency to be approved.

This process can take up to 90 working days for approval.


Thirdly, you apply for your firearm license.

  • You will need submit your application form for the respective firearm that was purchased from the firearm dealer at the police station nearest to your home.
  • You must provide 2 passport size color photographs not older than 3 months.
  • You’ll need to provide a certified copy of your ID.
  • You must present the original competency certificate and a certified copy for the firearm license.
  • You must provide a certified copy of your permanent residence permit in the case of a non-SA citizen.
  • You must provide a copy of a recent utility account reflecting your residential address (cannot be older than 3 months old).
  • You’ll be asked to give proper motivation indicating why you need a firearm for the respective section (S13, 15 and/or 16).
  • You must pay the prescribed fees.


This process takes approximately 90 working days.



Renewing your firearm license


All firearms licenses must be renewed every:

  • 5 years for business purposes (S13).
  • 5 years for self-defence (S13).
  • 10 years for hunting or sports-related shooting (S15 & 16).


If you own a firearm you need to renew your license and competency certificate at least 90 days before the expiry date of your license. If you don’t you’ll have to dispose of the firearm or hand it over to the SAPS. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s illegal to be in possession of a firearm without a valid license.

What are my responsibilities if I own or want to own a firearm?


  • Ensure that the firearm doesn’t land in the wrong hands and that it’s not used for crime.
  • Stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Comply with the Domestic Violence Act.
  • You can only buy a firearm from a registered dealer.
  • You need to report a lost, stolen firearm or damaged documents to the police within 24 hours.
  • You may only own 200 rounds of ammunition for each firearm.
  • You can only have ammunition that’s suitable for that firearm.
  • Never leave another person in possession of your firearm unless authorized to do so by SAPS.



Written by Petricia Martin.

What a difficult year it has been and for us at Schwenn Incorporated the past few months have been incredibly difficult after loosing our founder Charmaine.

Charmaine was a force to be reckoned with, a woman that could truly light up a room with her smile, she is irreplaceable and will forever be missed and it is because of her inspiring vision for Schwenn Inc that is the reason I had decided to keep the doors open and continue trading. I wanted to keep her legacy alive.

I write to you today to thank each and everyone of you for your overwhelming support throughout this time whether it be a phone call or message to check up on us, to passing a lead our way or a new client instruction – we are just beyond blessed and grateful.

The shoes of Charmaine’s are big shoes to fill out indeed and as I said before she is irreplaceable. However as director of Schwenn Inc I would like to assure you that the service provided is and always will be of a good quality as we try and go above and beyond for our clients.

If this year has taught me anything is that we need our people to get through tough times because the only way to get through them is together – by leaning on each other. To “our people” I really want to extend a big thank you because you are the reason we are still open today.

With gratitude from Jessica Schwenn and the Schwenn Inc team.

The campaign for the Charmaine Schwenn young women of worth has begun today and ends this Saturday.
Invest $1,$20 or even $50 and global giving will match the donation to up to 50% of your donation.
Invest in a young women and her education today.
Epworth Foundation thank you for running such a fantastic campaign with
Global Givers.
Please click on the link to donate now.

In spite of all the pain of 2020 ~ The Epworth Foundation and Schwenn Incorporated here in South Africa, invites you to feel the power of HOPE once more by investing just a SMALL amount this September, into the life of a
through the Epworth Foundation/Charmaine Schwenn bursary initiative.

This initiative honours the life of a great woman leader from our region, known and loved for her great ACTS OF KINDNESS, who saw in Epworth School a remarkable track record of producing world-class leaders.

Gone too soon, Charmaine’s legacy will now live on through the lives and accomplishments of these talented and deserving young girls.


Please tune in 😊✨  to our social media  (https://www.facebook.com/EpworthFoundation and https://www.linkedin.com/company/epworth-foundation/ https://www.facebook.com/schwenninc) this week, as the crowd funding opportunity readies itself for ‘take off’ in the ALL IMPORTANT middle week of September.

LittleXLittle, with your help, we will continue to ‘uplift our nation through quality education’


Most businesses have been struggling to stay afloat and some have considered cutting a number of their employees while some are totally closing down and not surviving the COVID 19 lockdown period.

Before deciding on totally closing down your business or company you might want to consider a business merger with a company or business that offers or renders the same goods and services like yours, or products that supplement or complement your existing business.

What is a Merger?

A Merger takes place when two independent companies combine their businesses which takes place by mutual consent or through a hostile takeover. From an economic perspective, there are three kinds of mergers that one might consider. The horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate mergers.

What is a horizontal merger?

A merger between firms operating on the same level of supply chain selling substituted products in the same geographic area. These include competitors like clothing stores. This type of merger is the most popular as it involves businesses and companies applicable in our daily lives.

What is a Vertical Merger?

A vertical merger entails the integration of companies or parties involved in different stages of the supply chain of a common product or service. An example of vertical integration would be a business merging with its supplier.

What is a Conglomerate merger?

Conglomerate merger covers all other types of mergers that are neither horizontal nor vertical in nature. These are transactions that take place between parties that have no apparent economic relationship. An example of a conglomerate merger would be a mining company and motor manufacture.

How are mergers categorized in terms of the Competition Act.

The Competition Act classifies mergers into 3 categories on the basis of total annual turnover assets of parties to the merger – Intermediate, Large, and small.

What constitutes an Intermediate Merger?

The combined annual turnover or assets of the acquiring firms and target firms in, into or from South Africa is less than R60 million or more.

The annual turnover or assets of a firm into or from South Africa is less than R80 Million.

What constitutes a larger merger?

The combined annual of assets of both the firms must is equal to or more than R6.6 million and the annual turnover or value of the transferred/ target firm is at least R190 million

There are many reasons why it might be a good idea to consider a business merger other than completely shutting down your company.

What constitutes a small merger?

A small merger is classified in terms of Section 13(2) of the Competition Act as a merger that does not fall under the intermediate and large mergers.

Do I have to notify the Competition Commission if we decide to embark on a business merger?

Yes, the Competition Commission must be notified of an intermediate and a large merger. A small merger can be notified of voluntarily within 6 months after implementation.

You might want to consider a business merger before concluding on shutting down your business or company completely. Gather as much information even if it’s a small merger but it’s worth keeping your name in the business industry and helping your business makes it through the COVID-19 period.


For any more questions you would like answered about your business please contact us today on Charmaine@schwenninc.co.za or 031 003 0630.

Donations of a body or tissue from a body is usually done for two reasons:

  1. For therapy; or
  2. For research.

Donations can only be given to beneficiaries who have licenses and are authorized to deal with bodies and tissue such as hospitals or universities that are involved with medical and or dental training.

Requirements for donations:

The biggest requirement for anatomical donations is consent. The consent of the person must be made when that person is competent when giving their consent which can be done in one of the following three ways:

  1. In his or her will;
  2. In another document signed by the donor with the signatures of at least two competent witnesses over the age of 14 years old; or
  3. Orally in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over the age of 14 years old (not recommended).

When the donor did not express consent:

There may be instances where the donor did not express consent for a donation. In these instances, his or her spouse, major child, parent or guardian or major sibling at the time can make the decision to give consent on behalf of the donor.

What if no family can be found:

There are provisions that allow a district surgeon to give consent for a donation if the deceased’s family cannot be located and he/she is convinced that reasonable steps were taken to try and locate said family members. Two doctors also need to confirm in writing that the tissue of the body of the deceased is required immediately to save the life of a recipient or in the case of eyes their sight.

Void donations:

Donations will be void if the donor or any other person negotiates and or receives compensation for any anatomical donation.

Can you revoke your consent:

Yes, consent can be revoked the same way it was given (in writing, signed and witnessed) or simply the document giving consent can be destroyed.

For more information on the rights to your body and the law of persons contact our offices today on 031 003 0630 or email us on Charmaine@schwenninc.co.za.

Large and small building works are commonplace in most neighbourhoods. Do you know when you are required to have plans drawn up and obtain municipal approval for your alterations at home?


You will require plans to be drawn up, quite obviously for new homes. You will also need plans drawn up for additions to your existing building structure or alterations to your existing building structure. This includes your exterior wall.


What may not be so obvious is that you will need building plans drawn up for the following internal alterations:

  1. Walls removed, moved or added;
  2. Walls raised or lowered;
  3. Doors or windows size or location changed;
  4. Use of a room is changed, such as converting a garage into a living space;
  5. Carport converted into a garage;
  6. Existing patio enclosed;
  7. Mezzanine floor added;
  8. Any material changes.


If you undertake minor building works, you still need to contact the building inspectorate at your local municipality who will inspect and provide the necessary exemption. Sometimes you may need to submit a drawing. You should not require building plans to be drawn for the following minor building works:

  1. Braais without a chimney;
  2. Garden sheds less than 3m
  3. Gate for cars within your property, unless partly on the pavement or municipal land;
  4. Replacing window or door frames provided that they are not load bearing and the opening is not enlarged;
  5. Minor repairs such as replacing roof tiles;
  6. New appliances or fitting such as bath or toilets provided there is no new plumbing or drainage.


It is always recommended that you employ a qualified professional to assist you with any alterations to your property and they should be able to advise you if plans are required. As the owner of the property, it is completely your responsibility to ensure that everything is done properly. Please remember that there are potential criminal implications if you go ahead with building on your property without the correct approval in place. You should always contact your local Building Inspectorate to ensure that the correct procedures have been followed before you start any building works.

For any information please do not hesitate to contact Liza Bagley on liza@schwenninc.co.za.


Written by Liza Bagley.

We are living through an unprecedented time in South Africa and the world.

An anomaly that now arises is what happens to divorced/separated/unmarried parents and their contact arrangements with their children over the national shut down.

Parents and children have certain rights. You will need to bear in mind, however, that certain rights are restricted in this state of disaster management. There will be limited, if any, access to courts over this time.

Parents should have an arrangement in place in terms of an agreement or a court order. Children moving between their respective parents now becomes potentially illegal.

The line will be drawn at considering their “home” to be the home of the primary caregiver. If the parents have joint primary care, it is advisable that the parents reach an agreement urgently regarding care over this time period, without the need for children to move between homes, except in the case of a medical emergency.

Please remember that maintenance is still payable between the parties, regardless of where the children reside during the shut down period. Any variations of maintenance needs to be by agreement.

For more information contact Liza on Liza@schwenninc.co.za.




In a recent SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) Court case – Head of Department: Western Cape Education Department & another v S (Women’s Legal Centre as Amicus Curiae) (1209/2016) [2017] ZASCA 187 (13 December 2017) it was found that a single parent could and should be given a school exemption.

Section 40 of the South African Schools Act No. 84 of 1996 states that:
40 (1) “A parent is liable to pay the school fees determined in terms of section 39 unless or to the extent that he or she has been exempted from payment in terms of this Act.”
40 (2) goes on to say a “parent may appeal to the Head of Department against a decision of a governing
body regarding the exemption of such parent from payment of school fees.”

Single parents will no longer need their ex-spouses to qualify for a school fees exemption, this followed on from a case concerning a Western Cape mother who applied for a school fees exemption. The school concerned wanted both her and her estranged ex-husband to fill in a form, because they both constituted a “family unit” even though she had custody of the daughter.

The mother of the child found that this process discriminatory, humiliating and unreasonable, the SCA Judgement, therefore made it clear that in circumstances where one parent has refused or failed to provide their income details, public schools shall grant a conditional fee exemption to the parent who has custody over the child, having regard to that parent’s income.

This conditional fee exemption shall be similar to an exemption that a parent would receive if there were the only parent of the learner concerned.

The granting of such a conditional exemption will not limit the public school from taking legal steps to enforce payment by the other parent for the balance of the school fees. This ensures that non-custodial parents are held responsible where required.

We hope that all our readers enjoy the festive season and have enjoyed our blogs. Should you have any legal issues, kindly note our offices are closed from the 24th of December 2019 until the 6th of January 2020. If you need to contact our offices in between that period, contact Charmaine Schwenn on 083 789 7638 or email charmaine@schwenninc.co.za.

The Importance of having a living will

In light of wills week this month (16 to 20 September 2019) we thought we would highlight the importance of drafting a living will when drafting your last will and testament.

What is a living will?

It is a document in which you give instructions to your medical doctor and your family that in the event of a serious injury or disease, that renders you in a coma or in a vegetative state that you do not wish to be kept alive through artificial means.

Reasons Why You Need a Living Will:

  1. A living will speaks for you when you cannot speak for yourself. For example, if you are in a coma and there is no reasonable chance of recovery, a living will can state whether or not you wish to be kept alive through artificial life support.
  2. Having a living will in place spares your loved ones from making the decision for you. It will be up to you if you want to remain on life support. This will also eliminate family members from arguing about the decision, with regards to religious views or any other factors they might have over the decision.
  3. The living will also let you have a say in what medical procedures and organ donations that you may want. This is especially important for healthy individuals, as their organs can be harvested and used to give someone else another chance at life.
  4. The financial burden on your estate can be very draining, being on life-support, especially when there is no reasonable chance of recovery.  This is incredibly expensive. This might seem heartless putting a price on one’s life, but medical bills could be devastating for many families.

What a living will cannot state.

You cannot include instructions for euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide in South Africa. You are entitled to request for specific treatments to be withheld or withdrawn, but you cannot ask a doctor to end your life.

How to draw up a living will?

Drawing up a living will isn’t time-consuming, and while you can do it yourself, it’s always best to have an attorney assist you with the process. Your living will should be accessible, so it’s advisable to inform your family and your medical practitioners of your living will’s location and give them copies.

As with many things in life, people change their minds and we always recommend that you review both your Last Will and Testament and your living will on an annual basis or if your circumstances have changed.or any queries contact, Charmaine Schwenn on 031 – 003 0630 or email – charmaine@schwenninc.co.za so that we can assist you in drafting both your will and living will.

#Willsweek2019 #Justschwennit #Yougotschwenned