PPRA Fee increase effective from 01 April 2023
We have noted with concern the PPRA’s fee increase recently published.
Some of the fees increased are not in line with the PP Act/Regulations or the CPI figures in terms of the Statistical Release P0141 Consumer Price Index January 2023. The overall increase should have been 6,9% as opposed to 7,2% according to the January 2022 to January 2023 CPI stats.
A contribution to the fidelity fund has been included for “returning” practitioners. In terms of Regulation 15.3 the contribution of R400 is a once-off payment i.e., when a practitioner registers for the first time.
Agents should also not be charged for new FFCs when they change employment/change status etc.
We have brought all these issues to the attention of the PPRA which is receiving urgent attention and we believe a new fee schedule will be published soon reflecting the correct increases.
Agents being Charged for FFCs for Employment Change
Please note. We have held several meetings in this regard with the PPRA and can confirm the following:
A property practitioner cannot be charged for a new FFC when changing employment. The FFC should not reflect the name of the Company. The FFC is valid for a 3-year period during which period the only onus on the Property Practitioner is to notify the Authority in writing of such change.
See PP Act Regulation 15.8
“The holder of a fidelity fund certificate or a registration certificate, as the case may be, shall inform the Authority within fourteen (14) days of any change in the information supplied to the Authority at the time of applying for the issue to him/her of such certificate.”
The PPRA has no forms in place to facilitate this at the moment, hence an email should suffice. We advise that you insist on acknowledgement and to retain proof of advisement. Agents joining your agency need not have changes made to FFCs as no Company/Firm name should be reflected.
The information contained in your FFC should only reflect the following: –
Your full name
Reflect the industry in respect of which that Fidelity Fund Certificate is issued i.e., Estate Agency.
See the format below for clarity.
Should your FFC reflect any additional information as in name of firm, then you may request that the PPRA issue a new and correct form of the FFC at no cost.
In summary, FFCs no longer have to be amended during the entire three-year period and no fees apply.
FFCs Principals/Directors of Multiple Firms
Regulation 41.22 states that “where a natural person acts as a property practitioner in different capacities in the same industry a single Fidelity Fund Certificate shall be issued to that natural person in respect of all capacities in which that person act as a property practitioner”.
This clearly means that somebody who serves as a principal or director of more than one estate agency/company need only one certificate which would be applicable in all circumstances, no extra fees apply.
When a director wants to serve as a principal of more than one estate agency, ensure that the PPRA is advised accordingly. A resolution of the company empowering that appointment as well as a copy of the CIPC confirmation must be submitted. No fees apply.
FFC Geographical Address and Security
The FFC requires a valid geographical address to be reflected on the Fidelity Fun Certificate.
It has been brought to our attention that many agents are concerned that their FFCs reflect their home addresses and that this poses a level of risk in terms of personal safety and security.
Agents may apply to the PPRA to have their addresses changed from their home addresses to their company addresses. In this respect, kindly ensure that your contact details on your MyPPRA agent portal contains the correct information. In the PPRAs defence they can only work with information you have provided them with and the onus is on you to ensure your portal is updated.
The PPRA has undertaken to utilise business addresses in future.
The PPRA are still charging exorbitant penalties for agents wishing to return to the industry who they deem did not deregister at the time they left the industry.
We have been pursuing what we deem these “illegal penalties” for many months now and have engaged vigorously with our legal team. We have issued the PPRA with our legal opinions and engaged with their legal department on many occasions.
We are now awaiting the response from their legal counsel and hope to provide industry with a positive announcement soon as we need to bring this practice to an end.
Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry
Some years ago, Rebosa endorsed Private Property as the portal of choice for estate agents and recommended members to support Private Property, albeit not exclusively. It is of the opinion of the Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry of the Competition Commission that this endorsement favoured Private Property to the detriment of other portals and insisted on Rebosa withdrawing this endorsement, which we hereby do.
The Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure invited written comments on the Expropriation Bill [B 23B – 2020].
In short, the Bill seeks to:
- provide for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest;
- regulate the procedure for the expropriation of property for a public purpose or in the public interest, including payment of compensation;
- identify certain instances where the provision of nil compensation may be just and equitable for expropriation in the public interest;
- repeal the Expropriation Act, 1975 (Act No. 63 of 1975); and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Rebosa’s position is clear.
We object in the strongest possible terms to the principle of expropriation without compensation.
We support the concept of expropriation under certain circumstances but are also of the firm conviction that fair compensation should always apply.
Submissions have been made in collaboration with the NPPC and we will be closely following the outcomes of the Select Committee on Transport, Public Service and Administration, Public Works and Infrastructure in their responses.
PPRA Self-Assessments and Powers of Inspection
We have received queries from members iro the Self-Assessment.
We would like to bring to the attention of our members that the self-assessment was only an interim measure as the EAAB did not have powers of inspection following the Auction Alliance court case.
The new PP Act Section 25 now provides for powers of inspectors to enter, inspect, search and seize so the PPRA are now carrying out physical inspections at offices, hence the self-assessment no longer applies.
Many of our members have been issued with Notices of Inspection and inspections have started by the PPRA in earnest.
We urge our members to ensure that they are compliant specifically in terms of holding valid FFCs, FIC and PoPIA.
There are many resources Rebosa members can access and utilise on our website including a standard PoPIA template created specifically for estate agency businesses which can be accessed on the link below: –
FIC and RMCP Template
On 14 November 2022 FIC made certain amendments to the FIC Act, 38 OF 2001 including increasing the threshold for cash receipt reporting from R24 999 to R49 999.
In light of the amendments and the FATF grey listing, Rebosa instructed its attorneys to revise the RMCP template for use by its members in their firms.
The template had been redesigned and forwarded to the PPRA for comment which was received. Our draft template is now with the Financial Intelligence Centre for their comment which has still not been forthcoming.
We expect a final sign-off soon upon which time we will distribute this to all members for use in compliance reporting.
In the interim we advise you not use the old template.
Education Qualification Standards and Deadlines
The PP Act has been in effect for more than a year and the PPRA has yet to establish qualification standards for property practitioners but has commenced consulting industry. The PPRA Education Department seem to be committed to maintaining the status quo in terms of education and training and there appears to be no urgency on their part to develop new qualifications with expediency in order to align the time allowed for candidates to qualify within the 180-day timeframe required by the Act.
The National Property Practitioners Council (“NPPC”) of which Rebosa is a founding member has held several meetings with the PPRA and collectively developed a feasible proposal for the new qualifications. Unfortunately, these meetings have now been halted as the PPRA Education Department published a statement on 9 February misrepresenting the industry’s position in the consultations.
In a letter to the NPPC, The PPRA leadership have acknowledged this and have undertaken to withdraw the published notice and issue a new factual communique on the consultation process in order for the meetings to progress.
An Important Notice to all Property Practitioners who Failed to Comply with Practice Note Etd01/2020 on Education Regulations
At a recent Rebosa industry event held in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the PPRA Chairperson, Mr Steven Ngubeni is on record stating that all candidate property practitioners who have been in the industry for longer than two years will face disqualification if they do not meet the education qualification and training standards by 30thJune 2023 and that no further extensions will be given.
See an article in this regard that was recently published in the Property Professional Magazine.
Updated Schedule of PDE Dates For 2023-2024
To assist those Property Practitioners who have already acquired the NQF 4 qualification but have not written PDE 4 within the required two years of acquiring the qualification, the PPRA have added an additional PDE exam on 20 April 2023.
Home Owners Associations – Undesirable Business Practices
The PPRA recently invited agents to lodge complaints.
The focus in terms of the new Regulations is to prohibit property practitioners from participating in such schemes and does not purport to dictate to homeowners’ associations and such like. These associations can charge whatever they want legally but property practitioners cannot participate in those schemes in contravention of the new Regulations. Please look at Regulation 35. Note especially that schemes are deemed undesirable should it in exchange for a benefit (like a fee) bestow any advantage or form of preferential treatment in respect of the marketing of properties, or should it advantage anyone property practitioner or group over and above any other. You are well advised to report instances like this to the PPRA as per the latest communication and should you wish to do so, the whistle blower option is also available. Section 35 is a direct result of a proposal made by the NPPC to the legislator.
This means that any Property Practitioner (estate agent) who acts in contravention of this regulation will be prosecuted by the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority “PPRA” which may lead to the cancellation of his/her Fidelity Fund Certificate “FFC” and therefore the right to trade.
The PPRA is now monitoring these practices closely and are taking action against transgressors.
See the full PPRA notice by accessing the link below: –
Cabinet Reshuffle and Minister of Human Settlements
While South Africa is currently facing a multitude of challenges notwithstanding the energy crisis, we were exceptionally pleased that the President’s reshuffle of his cabinet did not result in a portfolio change for the National Department of Human Settlements.
A cabinet reshuffle brings changes in direction and creates instability and uncertainty. For the first time in years, Rebosa has been given opportunities to engage directly with the Ministry which were never afforded under previous regimes. Hon. Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, is not only hard working but deeply invested in our industry and we look forward to our open and ongoing engagements with both the Ministry and the department to progress our industry.
National Association of Realtors Bi-Lateral Summit
Rebosa recently hosted a delegation of the National Association of Realtors on their first bi-lateral visit with their 2023 Leadership under President Kenny Parcell.
The itinerary included two industry events in Johannesburg and Cape Town which were oversubscribed, high-level meetings with the Minister of Human Settlements, PPRA Leadership, the National Property Practitioners Council and several housing community project developments and outreach programmes.
The positive feedback we have received has been overwhelming and we thank our members for their support, participation and continued belief in the work we do.
If you missed the industry events you can view them by accessing the link below: –
We would like to use this opportunity to thank specifically Stephan Potgieter of Nedbank and Jan Davel of PayProp who made these events possible. We would also like to extend our thanks to Rebosa’s Board of Directors who through their various companies made this Summit the success it was.
In terms of the feedback we have received from the National Association of Realtors, we have done both our industry and country proud.
Rebosa Business Leader (“RBL”)
Rebosa launched the RBL last year and the first cohort of students have now completed the theoretical component of the course and are currently undergoing the mentorship programme.
The initiative has exceeded our expectations and the feedback and testimonials from our students speak volumes.
This programme would not have been made possible without the financial support of the Leonard P. Reaume Foundation through NAR and sponsors including Private Property, Lightstone and the Leapfrog Property Group.
Rawson Property Group, RE/MAX of Southern Africa and Pam Golding Properties have committed to generous sponsorships for the next cohort.
While Rebosa will continue to provide bursaries to deserving students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds through our RBL bursary fund, the RBL is open to all aspiring property practitioner entrepreneurs who wish to take the next step in their career. The course fee is R28000 plus VAT for non-bursary applicants.
All RBL enquiries can be directed to Adrianne du Toit on firstname.lastname@example.org
The next bursary application window is open and applicants who meet the criteria are invited to apply.
Grey Listing Alert: South Africa’s grey listing means extensive new compliance requirements!
On 24 February 2023, The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) placed South Africa on its Grey List. The FATF periodically assesses nations and the effectiveness of their financial intelligence regulatory frameworks and controls to prevent money laundering, the illicit flow of money and terrorism financing. When serious deficiencies in a country’s framework are identified, the FATF may consider placing that country on what is termed their ‘grey list’. This serves as a warning to the international community that doing business with these countries potentially involve a great deal of risk which deters foreign investment. A further consequence is that these countries are subject to increased scrutiny by the FATF and can only be removed from the grey list if they manage to convince the FATF that they have addressed the identified deficiencies.
The FATF identified the Real Estate Industry as a risk. While real estate is a popular choice for investment, it also attracts criminals who use real estate in their illicit activities or to launder their criminal profits. In 2022, the FATF assessments showed that the real estate sector often has a poor understanding of these risks and regularly fails to mitigate them. The sector needs to take appropriate measures to adequately mitigate these risks. This includes effective customer due diligence measures, such as access to information about the true, beneficial owner(s) of the real estate transaction.