This report largely focusses on legislation that is currently before Parliament or already enacted and which commencement dates are imminent. We therefore urge you to peruse the following carefully and ensure that your Companies are prepared.
Should you have any concerns or queries you need clarity on, you are welcome to email me on email@example.com
Property Practitioners Bill
A slightly revised Bill was published on 31 May 2018 and introduced to the National Assembly on 14 June 2018. The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements invited interested people and stakeholders to submit written comments on the Property Practitioners Bill [B 21 – 2018] by Friday, 10 August 2018. Rebosa consulted with their attorneys and submitted further comment in line with our previous commentary.
We will keep you informed as this process unfolds.
The FIC Amendment Act 2017
The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, 2017, came into effect on 2 October, 2017.
It is the responsibility of the EAAB, to announce the implementation date for estate agents to comply with the requirements of the Act.
In our 20 March 2018 Rebosa report, we communicated that the EAAB would announce an implementation date, but before that, adequate training would be made available, amongst other opportunities, through the 2018 CPD programme.
At the subsequent Multi-Stakeholder Group Meeting held on 12 April 2018, the matter was raised again and is documented in the minutes of that meeting.
“The EAAB indicated that, during a recent meeting with FIC representatives, an extension of time until 31 October 2018 had been requested to enable the estate agency sector to comply with the requirements of the Amendment Act. MSG members felt that this extension might prove to be insufficient and requested the EAAB to seek a further extension of time, if at all possible, from the FIC. Mr Le Roux advised that Rebosa, and the sector as a whole, was presently waiting for the EAAB to produce the required templates as a prelude to the implementation of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act. Rebosa again requested the EAAB to prevail upon the FIC to grant a sufficient extension of time to enable the sector to become fully compliant without the threat of penalties. It was noted, in this respect, that a special CPD slot on the implementation of the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act would be incorporated into the 2018 CPD Programme.”
Furthermore, Rebosa went to great lengths and expense to draft a generic RMCP for our members which we shared with the EAAB.
It has come to our attention that the EAAB sent notices of inspection to our members which included having to present documentation relating to the Act available for inspection, namely the RMCP, formal appointment letters of all compliance officers (past and present) under the FIC Act; the manual used to provide training to staff as required by section 43 of the FIC Act and proof of training of staff on FIC Act, Financial Intelligence Amendment Act, Directives.
Clearly it is not possible for members to provide this documentation without the required training.
Dineo Mphahlele, EM: Inspectorate of EAAB has since communicated to Rebosa the EAABs position in terms of the required FIC training:-
- We are finalising on the implementation plan regarding the compliance workshops as well as incorporating the FIC changes to our study material,
- The process has taken longer than envisaged, we should be able to implement during the course of this quarter
In light of the above, it is clear that Principals cannot provide the information and documentation required, should an inspection be carried out.
We will keep you updated of all developments as we are informed.
The implementation for compliance of the Act is however, imminent and we therefore urge you to familiarise yourselves with the Act and its requirements. You can visit Rebosa’s website under the Legislation tab (http://www.rebosa.co.za/category/legal-updates/) to find the RMCP template, Q&A’s and brochures in respect of the Act.
We cannot guarantee that the EAAB will not, at any given point in time, announce a compliance date despite zero or inadequate training. We therefore urge you to do everything possible to comply with new requirements as soon as possible.
We also include a presentation on the FIC Amendment Act by the EAAB.
Should you have any queries in this regard, then please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI)
The Protection of Personal Information Act commenced on 26 November 2013. Proclamation No. 912, 2013. The exact date of its coming into operation is yet to be determined but we believe it is imminent.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) is a huge piece of legislation. This legislation impacts on the industry in which estate agents provide services to the man on the street, whether as buyer; seller; landlord or tenant.
POPI did not result from home-grown considerations. It was enacted to bring South Africa in line with the existing international legislation. In a nutshell, POPI is designed to manage the Collection, Recording, Use, Storage deletion; of a person’s personal details and applies to any “responsible party” working with the personal information. It is therefore clear that the intention herein is that the Real Estate Agency/Company, as well as the individual estate agent be a “responsible party” as POPI will apply to most organisations in SA and their representatives and agents when they process the personal information.
We have consulted with our attorneys STBB and Director, Anastasia Haji-Pavlou, has confirmed the following for us:-
POPI compliance requires that:-
- Your agency must have IT systems that are compliant with POPI. There must be safeguards with regard to collection and storage of data on computer systems. Systems must be secured against hacking. Employees with laptops and cell phones must sign undertakings in which they acknowledge their responsibility with regard to protecting the information stored thereon.
- Employees must sign a code of conduct advising that they are aware of their duties under POPI and that they will not disclose client’s information to others, unless there is consent.
- As part of its protection of an individual’s privacy, the act also includes measures dealing with direct marketing by way of ‘unsolicited communications”. It aims to prevent companies from using the information they have of individuals for marketing purposes, if the relevant individual did not give consent thereto.
- An individual’s details may also not be given to anyone else, for marketing purposes, if the individual did not specifically consent thereto.
- Section 66 of the act determines that a private or public body that has personal details of an individual may not use that information to send direct electronic marketing to that person (be it by way of automatic calling machine, emails, sms, WhatsApp or faxes), unless the individual has given his or her consent or if the recipient is a customer of the business. The direct marketing must in each instance still offer the recipient an opportunity to opt out of receiving further information.
- The key words therefore are CONSENT and OPT-OUT.
- In this regard, POPI makes dramatic impact on direct marketing. Previously you were allowed to send unsolicited emails provided there was an opt-out option. Now the sending of unsolicited emails to names on your database who have not beforehand opted in (or consented thereto) will not be allowed.
The Information Regulator was appointed in October 2016 with effect from 1 December 2016.
Time is running out to ensure that your organisation is in a position to comply with the requirements of POPI and it is recommended that you and your organisation empower yourselves with the necessary knowledge in order to become POPI compliant.
The renewal for 2019 FFCs opened on 1 July 2018 via the MyEAAB agent portal on www.eaab.org.za
Please ensure payment is made within the prescribed period i.e. 31 October 2018. Failure to pay on time leads to the accrual of monthly penalties.
It is important to note that the renewal of your FFC will only be issued provided that the estate agency firm has not been disqualified in terms of section 27 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act.
Both FFC annual renewals and late renewal penalty fines are managed through the link www.eaab.org.za/myffc “Renew Individual FFC” to obtain your FFC for the preceding year.
New SSETA CEO
Mr Andile Nongogo has resigned and Mrs Amanda Buzo-Gqoboka (Executive Manager: Legal Services) has been appointed as acting CEO of SSETA effective 1 August 2018
Realignment of Real Estate Qualifications NQF4 and NQF5
Following consultation with the Department of Higher Education, QCTO, SAQA and SSETA we noted that the real estate qualifications which ended on 30 June 2018 have been extended for another 5 year period. Please see notice below.
Rebosa’s education steering committee recently attended a SSETA Stakeholder Engagement workshop to discuss the way forward in terms of designing and developing new qualifications for the real estate sector. We will be working closely with all the relevant bodies and stakeholders in the months to come to ensure that Industry’s needs in terms of qualifications are met.
SAQA Accredited Training Providers – NQF 4 and NQF 5
You can access the links below to find the lists of accredited training services providers for real estate qualifications NQF4 and 5. This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of 18 July 2018
If you are having trouble signing up or installing your PrivySeal please visit their Frequently Asked Questions link https://support.privyseal.com/hc/en-us/sections/360001504712-FAQ