Dear Fellow Estate Agents
After 2 months of lockdown with limited economic activity we can at long last confirm that trading is possible subject to conditions and regulations which can be accessed by clicking the link below:-
Please keep checking rebosa.co.za for industry news and regulatory updates.
Now is the time for industry to adapt to the new reality because, let’s face it, the industry has probably changed forever. Those of us who implement the best business practices going forward will be the ones to succeed. It is mandatory for every company to develop a workplace plan before they re-open.
Included in this report is a workplace readiness best practice guideline to prevent contagion which we strongly suggest you adopt. If industry is cavalier about the contagion we all stand to lose.
Access the workplace readiness documents HERE
An official announcement that we will be able to return to work from the 1st of June is “just in time”.
The industry has given more than it could give.
Yes, we acknowledge that other industries have suffered, but commission earners without UIF took the biggest knock. Our exclusion from level 4 made no sense and we will continue with our endeavours to achieve a reclassification. This is imperative as Level 4 could well be reinstated at any time depending on the spread of the disease.
Rebosa will also pursue all efforts to obtain maximum relief from the EAAB – see feedback to date below.
Best wishes and stay safe
EAAB Formally Responds Requests for Economic Relief Measures for Agents
In a recent press release, the EAAB has outlined the “relief” measures offered to agents (https://www.eaab.org.za/article/eaab_covid_19_support_measures_for_the_real_estate_sector)
Deferment and Waiver of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Fees
EAAB – “The Board and Management of EAAB has felt it prudent to delay the payment of CPD fees and more recently made a decision to further engage with Minister Sisulu for deferment of CPD as a form of relief. Furthermore, the EAAB will ensure that it continues to deliver in terms of CPD sessions via on online platform therefore subsidising the sector.”
Rebosa Comment: The Board has not delivered the new 2020 CPD rolling cycle. E-learning is not available and those agents who have paid have not been linked to the portal for e-learning. These payments have not been allocated as each payment is being allocated manually due to the IT system failure.
Concession in respect of late Audit Report submissions
EAAB – “The sector requested that the deadline for submission of audit reports be moved to 30 September 2020. The Board however does not have the powers to grant such a request as it is prescribed in the Estate Agents Affairs Act. However we will not completely fail to attend to the request. The Board has submitted a proposal to the Executive Authority, which if granted will enable us to make an announcement to the industry.”
Rebosa Comment: The Board has the power to pass a resolution with ease. It is inconceivable that 6 weeks after our request this has not been effected.
Section 29 of the Act states that accounting records of the firm must be submitted within four months of the final date of the financial year end. The Regulations do not prescribe penalties on late submission of audit reports. It is the EAABs own policy to impose penalties. It is within the Boards jurisdiction to pass a new resolution to waive the penalty completely or for a period.
Payment Holiday for Exam Fees, Fines and Penalties
The sector requested the EAAB to announce a payment holiday until 28 February 2021 for all estate agents who are in arrears with payments, fines and/or penalties and all exam fees.
EAAB – “The Board took a decision that it would not consider a payment holiday on any historical debt, but would consider a payment holiday on penalties on Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) renewals. However, given that FFC renewals are only due on 31st October 2020, and penalties only kick-in on 1st November, the Board will make a further determination on this issue at a later date.”
Rebosa Comment: Not waiving penalties on historical debt will offer no immediate relief to agents. No definite relief offering for later and with no indication of what relief will be offered. What prevents the EAAB from making a decision now – surely everyone witnessed the pounding the industry is taking.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
EAAB – “The sector requested that the Professional Indemnity Insurance be used to cover their operations during the lockdown. The Board noted that the Professional Indemnity Insurance was specifically set up to indemnify the public against negligent practices of estate agents and hence this Insurance cannot be used for operational costs of estate agents”.
Rebosa Comment – The sector did not request assistance from the Professional Indemnity Cover. The EAAB has cancelled the industry’s’ Professional Indemnity Cover without communicating same. Insurance you thought you had does not exist.
CPD Payment Deadline
Unfortunately, the CPD payment deadline remains 31 May 2020. As per the above, we are still waiting for the EAAB to respond.
Life after Covid-19: Property Practitioners Act Regulations Must be Finalised
On 6 March we published the draft regulations and the Act on the Rebosa website (https://www.rebosa.co.za/property-practitioners-regulations-2020-public-participation-sessions/)
Following the lockdown the deadline for comments have been extended but could be announced any time soon.
We have received comments from a number of members but wish to invite you to have another look and to advise us of any concerns you might have/comments you would like to make/ questions you would like to ask.
We will communicate same to the Minister and Department.
Some members have taken it upon themselves to respond individually on these regulations. While we appreciate your endeavours, we also wish to affirm that we will have greater impact if Rebosa submits comments as a collective on behalf of all members. Safe to say that if we contradict each other it could be extremely detrimental to the industry.
We are consulting with a leading firm of attorneys who are well briefed on the industry’s needs.
Rebosa Submission to be Reclassified to Operate Under Lockdown Alert Level 4
We would like to thank all our members who participated in the “Viruly” survey which supported our submission to the Coronavirus Command Centre. The results of the study are impressive and substantiate the importance of our sector in the economy.
You are welcome to the study which can be downloaded from our website (https://www.rebosa.co.za/rebosa-2nd-submission-on-the-draft-framework-for-consultation-on-covid-19-risk-adjusted-strategy/).
We will continue with this approach as it will be safer for the industry to be reclassified as lockdown levels may be amended again.
Municipalities are Open
Municipalities and municipal entities will operate the following revenue generating services:
(i) payment for licenses;
(ii) issuing of licenses of vehicles, renewal of drivers’ licenses and roadworthy certificates;
(iii) municipal trading services, such as water and electricity, property rates, refuse removal, rental
(iv) issuing of clearance certificates; and
(v) meter reading.
Download the full gazette by accessing the link below:-