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A1The Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988 defines a trustee as meaning “any person (including the founder of the trust) who acts as a trustee by virtue of an authorisation under Section 6.”

In the matter of Lupacchini vs Minister of Safety and Security (16/2010) [2010], ZASCA 108 (17 September 2010), the position of a trustee acting without the authorisation of the Master was considered, where that “trustee” authorised legal proceedings.

A trust that is established by a trust deed is not a legal person – it is a legal relationship of a special kind that is described by the authors of Honoré’s South African Law of Trusts as “a legal institution in which a person, the trustee, subject to public supervision, holds or administers property separately from his or her own, for the benefit of another person or persons or for the furtherance of a charitable or other purpose.”

Although the trust property vests in each trustee individually they have to act jointly unless the deed of trust provides otherwise. Their individual interests do not waive the requirement that they have to act jointly.

The consequence of the validity of an act that has taken place in conflict with a statutory prohibition has been considered in numerous cases, and depends on a proper construction of the particular legislation and the intention of the legislature.

The whole scheme of the act is to provide a manner in which the Master can supervise trustees in the proper administration of trusts, and their knowledge of Article 6(1) is essential to such purpose, and by placing a bar on trustees from acting as such until authorised by the Master, the Act endeavours to ensure that trustees can only act as such if they comply with the Act.

In the Kropman NO vs Nysschen it was held that a court has the discretion to retrospectively validate acts of a trustee that are performed without the requisite authority. This proposition was in later cases rejected persuasively.

“Locus standi in Judicio” on the other hand is something else and does not depend on the authority to act but depends on whether the litigant is regarded by the court as having a sufficiently close interest in the litigation.

Although section 6(1) suspends a trustee’s power to act in that capacity he or she could have a sufficiently well-defined and close interest in the administration of the trust to have locus standi.

The essence of the prohibitory phrase in section 6(1), “… shall act in that capacity only if authorised thereto …”, must be interpreted to mean that a trustee may not, prior to the Masters authorisation, acquire rights for, or contractually incur liabilities on behalf of, the trust and is not intended to regulate questions of locus standi in iudicio.’

Legal proceedings commenced by unauthorised trustees and commercial transactions binding the trust are invalid and void.

[1] 5th ed (2002) by Edwin Cameron with Marius de Waal, Basil Wunsh and Peter Solomon para 1.

[2] 1999 (2) SA 567 (T) at 576F.

This article 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.


newsWe are at the beginning of 2014. A year with new prospects and challenges for everyone in general and in particular a new website for Schnetler’s Inc. The new website is being handled by the Succeed Group. Clients, potential clients and the general public will, through our new website, have insight to legal information and advice and will also have access to our new facebook page on which we will post on a regular basis photos and articles of events that happen “behind the scenes” at Schnetler’s Inc. Here you will get to know our Directors and staff in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Our first facebook page will commence with our 2013 year-end function held at Stardust in Woodstock. It was an evening of good food and wine, music, song dance and merriment.

We hope and trust that you as our clients will enjoy our new website and facebook page and find it of interest.

We leave you with the following message:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap
But by the seeds that you plant” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Greetings from the Schnetler’s team.

So begin 2014 met nuwe vooruitsigte en nuwe uitdagings en tesame hiermee ‘n nuwe webtuiste vir Schnetler’s Ing.  Die nuwe webtuiste word deur die SucceedGroup hanteer.  Kliënte, potensiële kliënte asook die algemene publiek sal deur die webtuiste insae hê tot regs-inligting en regsadvies en sal ook toegang hê tot ons nuwe faceboek blad waar ons gereeld foto’s en artikels sal plaas van wat  “agter die skerms” by Schnetler’s Ing plaasvind.  Hier sal u ook ons Direkteure en personeel in ‘n ontspanne atmosfeer leer ken.

Ons begin sommer ons eerste faceboek blad met ons jaareind-funksie van 2013. Dit het plaasgevind by Stardust in Woodstock en was ‘n aand van goeie kos, uitstekende musiek en sang en lekker dans en kuier.

Ons hoop en vertrou dat u as ons kliënte ons nuwe webtuiste en facebook blad sal geniet.

Ons laat u met hierdie boodskap:

“As jy iemand anders teen die steilte van die lewe uithelp

Bereik jy self ook die top” – skrywer onbekend

Groete van die Schnetler’s Span.


tenantThe Rental Housing Act No. 50/1999, as amended by the Rental Housing Amendment Act No. 43/2007, regulates the relationship between a tenant and a landlord, even before commencement of the lease agreement.

The Act determines that the landlord may not discriminate against the prospective tenant, his family or friends, including on grounds of race, sex, pregnancy or marital status. This applies as early as placing an ad for the leasing of a property or even during negotiations between prospective tenants and the landlord,

The lease itself does not have to be in writing to be binding on both parties and should a tenant request that an oral agreement be reduced to writing, the landlord may not refuse the request.

A written lease agreement must contain the following information:

  • The names of the parties, as well as their South African addresses;
  • A description of the property being leased;
  • The monthly rental payable and reasonable increases;
  • The deposit payable, if applicable;
  • The period for which the property will be leased. Should the agreement not mention a specific period of lease, the agreement must indicate the notice period required should one of the parties wish to terminate the contract;
  • Any other consideration, besides the monthly rent, which may be payable;
  • A complete list of defects that are present at the time that the parties entered into the lease agreement.

If the property is situated in a complex that has its own rules, a copy of those rules should be attached to the lease agreement.

The landlord must ensure that he/she gives effect to the provisions contained in the lease agreement.

As mentioned, mutual rights and obligations are created for both parties in the lease agreement. These rights and obligations include the following:

Tenant’s rights:

  • To jointly inspect the property before the tenant moves in and record any defects or damage to the property. This provision protects the tenant at the end of the lease period to ensure that the tenant will not be held liable for damages that already existed at the time the lease was entered into;
  • During the lease period, the tenant has the right to privacy and the tenant’s property, home or person may not be searched;
  • If the landlord fails to inspect the property upon expiry of the lease, the tenant can assume that the landlord acknowledges that no damage has been done to the property, and that the full deposit, together with interest thereon, must be refunded to the tenant.

Landlord’s rights:

  • To request a deposit, in the amount agreed upon between the parties, before the tenant takes occupation of the property;
  • To receive timeous payment of the monthly rent and also to collect overdue payments, after a court order or order from a Tribunal has been obtained;
  • To receive the property in a good condition upon termination of the lease;
  • To jointly inspect the property within three days before the lease expires and determine if any damage has been done to the property for which the tenant should be held liable;
  • To recover the cost of repairs, should the property be damaged, from the tenant;
  • Should the tenant not give access to the property for a joint inspection before expiry of the lease, the landlord should inspect the property within seven days after expiry of the lease and utilise the deposit for necessary repairs. The balance of the deposit, if any, should be refunded to the tenant within twenty-one days.

Landlord’s obligations:

  • To invest the tenant’s deposit in an interest-bearing account at a financial institution, with an interest rate equal to or higher than the interest rate at that time earned on a savings account at such financial institution. The tenant may request proof that the deposit is invested and the landlord may not withhold such evidence;
  • To furnish the tenant with a receipt for each payment made by the tenant, which receipt should clearly describe the property, be dated, and indicate in full what the payment is made for (eg Rent for the month of February 2013, or deposit);
  • To utilise the deposit to repair any damage to the property or to recover arrears rent after expiry of the lease, and to pay the balance together with interest earned thereon to the tenant within fourteen days after the expiry of the lease;
  • To keep all receipts in respect of repairs done to the property which were deducted from the tenant’s deposit, and make such receipts available to the tenant;
  • To refund the tenant’s deposit together with interest thereon, within seven days of the expiry of the lease, in the event that no repairs are to be made to the property.

Should a dispute arise between the parties, the Rental Housing Tribunal in the area where the dispute arises, can be contacted.

It is very important for both the tenant and the landlord to make sure that their intentions are clearly defined in the lease and that they understand the terms of the lease before the lease agreement is signed. Also that all provisions, responsibilities and obligations are clearly set out in the agreement. It is advisable to seek legal advice if any uncertainties arise, before the lease agreement is signed.

References: Rental Housing Act No. 50/1999, as amended by Rental Housing Amendment Act No. 43/2007

This article 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.


verlofCoco is onseker of sy geregtig sal wees op betaalde verlof. Sy is ‘n voltydse sekretaresse en werk reeds meer as ‘n jaar vir die nuwe maatskappy. Luidens die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes 75 van 1997, is jaarlikse verlofvoordele nie van toepassing op werknemers, insluitend huishulpe, wat minder as 24 uur per maand werk nie. Dit beteken dat diensvoorwaardes van tydelike werknemers en onafhanklike kontrakteurs ook onder hierdie wet val.

Kragtens die Wet, loop ‘n werknemer se jaarlikse verlof op. Dit beteken dat die werknemer se verlof maandeliks aanwas. Verlof loop op teen ‘n koers van een uur verlof vir elke 17 ure gewerk, of een dag verlof vir elke 17 dae gewerk, of anders gestel, 1,25 dae per maand. Die totale toegelate minimum is 15 werksdae per jaar met volle salaris in elke jaarlikse verlofsiklus of in elke tydperk van 12 maande, bereken vanaf die datum van indiensneming.

Die Wet maak melding van 21 opeenvolgende dae. Naweke word ingesluit, wat beteken dat die werknemer eintlik 15 werksdae kry aangesien ‘n “normale” werkweek bestaan uit vyf dae.

Dit is belangrik om daarop te let dat die Wet bepaal dat die aanwas van toepassing is op die tempo van een dag vir elke 17 dae waarop die werknemer gewerk het of geregtig was om voor betaal te word. Openbare vakansiedae word beskou as werkdae aangesien werknemers op daardie dae vergoed word as sou die dae normale werkdae wees wat derhalwe ingesluit word in die berekening van jaarlikse verlof.

Siekteverlof word op ‘n soortgelyke wyse hanteer. Indien die werknemer betaalde siekteverlof gehad het word daardie dae ingesluit by die berekening van jaarlikse verlof, tensy die werknemer nie meer siekverlofdae beskikbaar het nie of met onbetaalde siekteverlof was, in welke geval hierdie dae uitgesluit word vir die doeleinde van die berekening.

Dit is algemene praktyk vir sommige werkgewers om maandeliks ‘n bedrag af te trek van die tydelike werker of onafhanklike kontrakteur se loon en dit tot die werknemer se voordeel in ‘n sogenaamde “verlofrekening” te hou wat dan ten tye van die werknemer se verlof uitbetaal word. Hierdie praktyk is egter onwettig en die werkgewer sal skuldig wees aan oortreding van die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes asook aan bedrog omdat hy die werknemer ontneem van ‘n wettige reg op betaalde jaarlikse verlof en betaalde siekteverlof. Slagoffers van so ‘n wanpraktyk kan die werkgewer dagvaar vir skadevergoeding.

Daar is geen bepaling dat werknemers nie hul jaarlikse verlofdae opeenvolgend mag neem nie. Coco word beskou as ‘n voltydse werknemer omdat sy vir ten minste ‘n jaar lank meer as 24 uur per week vir die maatskappy gewerk het en dus sal sy kwalifiseer vir 15 opeenvolgende dae verlof.

Ons kan dus vir Coco gerusstel. Sy sal in staat wees om die vakansie van ‘n leeftyd te geniet!

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.



SaleimmovableBut what the parties don’t keep in mind is that this agreement between the parties constitutes a credit transaction as defined in the National Credit Act (hereinafter called the Act) and that in certain circumstances the seller will have to register as a credit provider in terms of the Act.

To establish if the Act will be applicable and if the seller should register as a credit provider one should carefully consider the following:

  1. The Act will apply to all written credit agreements between parties dealing at arm’s length. This is to probably curb underhand dealings between family members at the peril of other third parties.
  2. Arm’s length transactions are not defined in the Act but they exclude, for example, transactions between family members who are dependent or co-dependent on each other and any arrangement where each party is not independent of the other and does not strive to obtain the utmost possible advantage out of the transaction.
  3. The Act does not apply where:
  • The consumer is a juristic person whose annual turnover or asset value is more than a R1m;
  • The purchaser is the State or an organ of the State;
  • A large agreement (i.e. more than R250 000, such as a mortgage) is entered into with a juristic person whose asset value or turnover is less than R1m.

A credit agreement includes a credit facility, credit transaction and credit guarantee or a combination of these. The relevance is the following:

  1. A credit facility requires fees or interest to be paid ;
  2. A credit transaction does not necessarily require interest or fees to be paid. An instalment agreement would suffice to qualify as a credit transaction .

An instalment agreement is defined and relates only to the sale of movable property.

A credit transaction also includes any other agreement where payment of an amount owed is deferred and interest or fees are charged.

A mortgage agreement qualifies as a credit transaction [Section 8(4)(d)] and the importance is that mortgage is defined in the Act as a pledge of immovable property that serves as security for a mortgage agreement.

Mortgage agreement is also defined as a credit agreement secured by a pledge of immovable property.

Section 40 of the Act requires one to register as a credit provider should you have at least 100 credit agreements as credit provider OR if the total principal debt under all credit agreements exceeds R500 000. Principal debt means the amount deferred and does not include interest or other fees.

It follows that if you sell your home to an individual in a private sale (i.e. where he does not get a bond from the bank) and you register a bond as security, you have to register as a credit provider UNLESS the principal debt is less than R500 000 or the buyer is a juristic person and the price is more than R250 000.

The implications for the seller could be far-reaching if he is not registered, as the agreement will be unlawful and void, and a court must order that:

  1. The credit agreement is void as from the date the agreement was entered into;
  2. The credit provider must refund to the purchaser any money paid by the purchaser under the credit agreement, together with interest;
  3. All the purported rights of the credit provider under the credit agreement to recover any money paid or goods delivered to, or on behalf of the purchaser in terms of the agreement, are either cancelled or forfeited to the State.

The application form to register as a credit provider and also the calculation of the registration fee that is payable to the National Credit Regulator (NCR) can be found on the NCR’s website. If the seller has not registered by the time he enters into the loan agreement he may still register within 30 days after entering into the loan agreement.

Sellers, be careful when you enter into these types of agreements as non-compliance with the Act could be a costly exercise.

This article 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.