If you are an inventor you can make the initial application for a patent yourself, however, it is always a sensible idea to make use of a patent attorney to do the job on your behalf. This is because of the complex nature and requirements of the Patents Act. A patent attorney is able to give you sound advice about your invention and whether it can be patented.
A patent attorney is bound by a code of ethics that is administered by the Institute of Intellectual Property Law in Johannesburg. In addition to their Law Degree and the Institute examinations, a patent attorney in South Africa must also possess either an engineering or a science degree to enable him or her to understand and interpret the technical drawings and description that usually accompany an application for a patent.