Rebosa 5 May 2020 Report
Urgent survey to change lockdown.
After many hours and vast resources spent on submitting our request to have the real estate sector opened for business under level 4, we were just as distraught as you were that our request seemed not to have been given consideration. As such, we will be petitioning all spheres of government to reconsider their decision and reclassify real estate under level 4.
As such, I implore of you to complete the questionnaire below within the timeframes.
I trust that you are staying productive and positive despite the lockdown. We will continue to use all avenues available to us to ensure the survival of the sector.
In the meantime, stay indoors – stay safe.
Help Us to Help You Return to Work
We have contracted the services of Viruly Consulting to assist in the process of collecting data to develop a case for the opening of the residential real estate sector before Level 2.
It is critical that we submit our case before the end of the week. Could you please assist in this endeavour by completing this short survey by clicking on the following link. Please submit by 14h00 tomorrow (6 May). This should not take you more than 5-10 minutes.
We appreciate your input in this regard. All queries regarding the survey can be forwarded to Silvia Viruly 021 761 2921; firstname.lastname@example.org
Covid-19 : What is legal?
It has been brought to our attention that certain real estate agencies have applied for and received permits to trade as an essential service during level 4 and 5 of the lockdown.
The process to apply for a permit is to access the CIPC portal – (https://www.bizportal.gov.za/essential_service.aspx)
The CIPC (BizPortal) does not provide advice on the Essential Services list and regulations. The CIPC administers the BizPortal website for applications ONLY. A company needs to determine themselves, based on the regulations, if they are regarded as an Essential Service or not.
It is therefore possible to apply for a permit in the “Accommodation for quarantine, essential services” category with relative ease.
Please note however, supplying incorrect information is a criminal offense and will lead to prosecution and a Criminal Record if found guilty.
Real estate services are still listed under lockdown Level 2.
Some agents simply ignore all guidelines, as always to the detriment of those who are law abiding.
Rebosa has been asked but obviously has no authority to act against those agents and it is extremely unlikely that the EAAB will take any action. Should you wish to do so you are best advised to report such instances to the South African Police.
The regulations are however confusing and contradictory with many grey areas and much as we are seeking clarity it is hard, if not impossible to give you clear guidance.
We are actively pursuing all possible venues to address this issue with the authorities and can assure you that no stone will be left unturned.
Where is the EAAB?
It is most unfortunate that since 26 March 2020 when the lockdown commenced we have had no communication from the EAAB CEO bar an acknowledgement weeks ago that our proposals would be given consideration.
These proposals include the CPD fee waiver, a payment holiday on outstanding fees, penalties and fines and an undertaking that late submission of audit reports will not attract penalties until the new year.
During these uncertain times and with our industry crippled economically, one would have expected leadership from the regulator. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen government and industry rally together to find sustainable solutions that provide economic relief while preserving life and our President is constantly updating the country and providing words of encouragement and praise. We remain optimistic that the EAAB will join the industry in a fortified effort to fight the common enemy that is Covid-19.
Following waiving all membership fees for the month of April, we will be applying a 50% discount on May and June 2020 fees.
This means Rebosa membership will be only R10 per agent per month. If you are unable to pay the discounted fee, please write to us so that we can arrange for a deferred payment date.
Rebosa is a not for profit organisation and we need to continue with the important work we are currently engaged with, which requires funds.
This includes submitting comments on the Property Practitioners Act Regulations which will give effect to the Act. Ensuring agents rights are protected under the new regulations has come at a great financial cost as we have engaged with a leading firm of attorneys in order to do so.
Rebosa will continue petitioning all spheres of government to allow the sector to operate under level 4 and we have also sought legal counsel in this regard.
We have also had our legal team compile papers to proceed with a structural interdict against the EAAB iro of service delivery. We have notified the Minister in this regard and asked for her intervention.
The Lockdown unfortunately is delaying action in this regard.
We are pleased that our appeals to Minister Patel to have the Deeds office opened have yielded a positive response.
Property Practitioners Act Regulations
We have submitted in-depth commentary on the regulations which will give effect to the Act.
The date of commencement of the Act is still to be determined.
Industry Health and Safety Guidelines
We are waiting for a response from government but in the interim we have published a draft set of health and safety of guidelines which was included in our submission to have the real estate sector reclassified to operate under level 2. These can be found along with the submission on the Rebosa website. We are currently reviewing same.
We are continuing to work with the EAABs skeleton staff who are working from home. We have managed to resolve 438 outstanding FFC queries since the lockdown began. These FFCs have now been issued to the respective agents and firms.
We are currently dealing with 160 CPD disqualifications due to agents being blocked for non-compliance – unfairly so.
Despite the lockdown and the ensuing backlog, Fiona is managing to resolve many member queries.
Should you have any outstanding issues with the EAAB now is the time to have them resolved before the new Property Practitioners Act commences.
Please submit all queries on our website. Fiona can also be emailed on email@example.com
ENCA Fake News
On 4 May, ENCA news Anchor, Mr Luxolo Mngambi conducted an interview with Lawtons Africa Director, Mr Hopewell Sathekge. At the time of the interview a strap line – “Property Industry is now allowed to operate under level 4 lockdown” was broadcast. There is no change to the property sector classification which remains at level 2. We have written to ENCA to retract all reference to this misguided and damaging broadcast and to issue an immediate apology.