Re-Post: Renewal of Competency Revisited

NHSA Newsletter

VOL. 16 (05) - 12-02-2020


This is a repeat of our 2011, 2013, 2015 & 2017 Newsletters on this matter.

It has become progressively clear that SAPS manage the renewal of competencies to coincide with the expiry of the longest outstanding licence of a specific firearm type (i.e. handgun, rifle, shotgun, semi-auto rifle).

You must renew competencies at least 90 days before the expiry date of a specific competency.  Remember that each firearm type has its own competency, albeit that all your competencies might be printed on one document.

Competency for Section 13 firearms [self-defence] expires after 5 years.  If you have a second handgun under Section 15 or 16, then the handgun competency expires on the date of the longest outstanding handgun licence (if you have a shotgun for self-defence the same applies). 

Competency for Section 15 & 16 firearms [occasional hunting and/or sport shooting or dedicated hunting and/or sport shooting] expire on the date of the longest outstanding rifle or shotgun licence you have [Section 9 of Act 28 of 2006].  Or semi-auto for that matter.

We still (and again) advise that our members should rather renew their white credit type competency certificates 90 days before expiry date of said certificate, irrespective of what your DFO indicates to the contrary.  

However, if your competency has expired and your renewal thereof is outstanding for longer than 90 days before expiry (and even longer), don’t be too upset.  

SAPS is on record at the Hunters-SAPS Consultative Forum and in their own Directive of 7 January 2011, that they will not act upon any person applying for late renewal of an expired competency certificate due to the chaos the SAPS directive of 7 January 2011 created in this regard. 

All of us are aware of people who have been turned away by their DFOs when they wanted to renew their competency certificates with words to the effect; "…you don’t need to apply now, only when your longest outstanding licence expires…".

So, in the space on the form for renewal of competency (form SAPS 517g) where they ask why you did not submit your renewal application for competency in time you state that the member in the SAPS office turned you away last time when you wanted to submit your renewal application, and said that it was not necessary just yet.  You further state that you have been informed by your Association (NHSA) that you must renew your credit card type competency certificate as it has an expiry date printed on it for you to stay inside the law.

For renewal of competency you will need two declarations by friends or people you know regarding your character to be attached to your application.  Also, attach copies of your training certificates and of the SAQA underwriter (POSLEC, SASSETA, SAPFTC for Knowledge of the Act, Rifles, Handguns, Semi-autos & Shotguns – or whatever your training entailed). 

Character witnesses should make special reference to non-aggression, low or moderate alcohol use, exceptional firearm safety and responsibility, and to responsibility of person in every day and in family life.

Please make sure that you renew your competency certificate as soon as possible if it has expired, or submit your application for its renewal in time, if it is still going to expire.  We suggest one stays within the confines of the Firearm Control Act, 2000, as it is absolutely to one`s own benefit.

The situation regarding members who have been issued with the A4 type of paper competency certificate which does not have an expiry date on it, is not clear due to the Act referring to an expiry date while there is no such date printed on the A4-type competency document.

We advise that one should use the issuing date as the start date and count 5 years or 10 years from there.

Remember your DFO must take in your application for renewal of competency irrespective of what s/he says as it is you who want to remain inside the law.  Ask him/her to please help you achieve that.

SAPS will not accept application for a new licence and for a new competency on the same time.  Hand in your aplication for a new competency first.  When you receive that, you can apply for the new licence for that specific type of firearm.

However, one may hand in application for renewal of competency and renewal of a licence at the same time.

Download SAPS (517g) - Application for Competency

Laai Aansoek vir Bevoegdheid, SAPS (517) hier af

Download SAPS (517g) - Application for Renewal of Competency

Download Annexure A (Affidavit) to Accompany Application for Competency or for Renewal of Competency

(3 people to each fill out the Annexure)