A WASTED OPPORTUNITY: A Transformation Bill that isn’t
Many politicians and government officials have lauded the Property Practitioners Bill as the epitome of transformation legislation and I assume the intensity of these statements will increase towards the upcoming general election.
This is unfortunate as the Bill is neither an example of good legislation, nor will it meet the government’s expectations in being an instrument for transformation.
Until 1976, there was no Act of Parliament regulating the industry. In that year, an Act that was far from perfect was promulgated, and has been in effect since.
A unique opportunity now existed for the democratic government to take a fresh look at the property industry and to draft appropriate legislation, taking cognisance of technological advancements etc.
This was not to be.
Our government opted for a second-rate renovation of the old National Party legislation. The motivation is clearly political as the National Assembly passed the (“Bill”) on 4 December 2018, after which it was sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for consideration.
The NCOP, (as did the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements before), also held public hearings in every province – two to three locations per province. Every province deliberated on the Bill and the whole process came to culmination at 15h00 on Monday, 25 March 2019, when said Bill was approved by the NCOP without changing anything. This despite more than 100 outstanding issues/challenges/errors raised by Rebosa.
There are two possible conclusions. The National Assembly is a perfect structure as all the people consulted in the provinces, the provincial committees and the NCOP deliberating this, as well as the Department of Human Settlements advising them, could not find grounds to change one comma!
A rubber stamp is not even an apt description.
Or you must deduce that the shortcomings/errors were acknowledged but ignored to the detriment of the industry for the sake of political expediency.
One could fairly ask why there is an NCOP, along with all the expenses that involves, when looking at these facts.
We assume that the insistence on a BEE certificate, the creation of a Transformation Fund and a Property Sector Research Centre give rise to the transformation expectations. Unfortunately, as it now stands, a new black entrant to the market will still face serious challenges in becoming successful and almost impossible challenges to establish his/her own business. This Bill favours big companies that can address compliance issues and is the enemy of start-ups. In this regard it matches the National Party Act point by point and is in fact more onerous.
There still remains the opportunity to approach the President with a request to not sign the Bill in its present format. This however, offers but little hope in view of the looming 8 May election. Another negative for this approach is the fact that should the President not sign this Bill timeously, i.e. before the election, government will have to start the entire process that has taken years, afresh. This is an unlikely outcome.
Industry is therefore most probably going into an uncertain period, with a number of issues which will undoubtedly cause problems going forward.
Of course regulations must be formulated and approved (a demanding process), in order to give effect to the Bill and a guideline of 5 months to finalise was mentioned/agreed upon at the NCOP meeting.
Therefore, it may well be that the Bill and Regulations could be in place before the end of the year. I think a better guess is first half of 2020.
As we have continued to do, Rebosa will address all these challenges going forward. It is worthwhile noting that many changes were made to the original draft – most certainly thanks to the efforts of Rebosa amongst others.
Below, please find an abbreviated timeline of Rebosa’s response to the Bill commencing March 2017.
We can assure our members that we have explored every avenue possible to provide for a transformative Bill that would embrace growth, development and job creation. Unfortunately this was not to pass.
We even managed to communicate final comments to the NCOP in the eleventh hour, to no avail.
Property Sector Charter Council
Mr Saul Gumede resigned after serving an extended period as Chair. We wish him well in his future endeavours.
We are pleased to announce that Dr Sedise Moseneke has been elected as the new Chairperson of the Property Sector Charter Council. We wish Dr Moseneke every success in taking the PSCC to new heights and look forward to engaging with him in the near future.
We would also like to announce the appointment of Mr Bryan Biehler to the Technical Committee of the PSCC. Bryan has a long standing association with the PSCC and also sits on the Rebosa Board. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his continued support and commitment to the industry.
Y.E.S , SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND ESD
Following a recent meeting of the PSCC Technical Committee, find below for your perusal and interest, a presentation on the General Principles for Measuring Enterprise and Supplier Development in terms of meeting the Property Sector Codes of Good Practice.
Also below, is the Gazette on the Youth Employment Service Initiative (Y.E.S) and how it impacts the BEE codes.
The Y.E.S programme is a joint initiative by the private sector and government. It signifies huge progress towards assisting South Africa’s youth to gain work experience through employment placement. Three major factors come into play for South African business owners – the employment of youth, B-BBEE requirements and training and development.
The key drivers of the Y.E.S programme are the incentives that participating enterprises will receive in terms of B-BBEE compliance levels. Participating enterprises can be enhanced up to two levels on their B-BBEE scorecards and certificates.
EAAB Western Cape Risk Management, Compliance Programme & Self-Assessment of Compliance Training
Unfortunately the EAAB have only just brought to our attention that training dates for FIC will take place as follows:
Date: Thursday 28 March 2018 at
Time: 12h00 to 15h00
Venue: Khayelitsha Multi-Purpose Community Centre – Walter Sisulu Drive & Steve Biko Road, Khayelitsha
RSVP: Zama.Mulidwi@eaab.org.za and Carol.email@example.com
Jan le Roux