EAAB will assist previously disadvantaged agents with FFC’s

EAAB will assist previously disadvantaged agents with FFC’s

MAIN IMAGE: Advocate Debbie Vial, Manager: Disqualifications and Claims with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) says soon estate agents from previously disadvantaged groups (PDIs) should be able to apply for exemption from some of the current requirements to qualify for a fidelity fund certificate (FFC).

The EAAB has just completed a national awareness campaign to inform estate agents from previously disadvantages groups that they will soon be able to apply for exemption from some of the Act’s requirements to qualify for an FFC, without which agents can’t operate legally as estate agents.

Last Thursday a small group of less than 20 agents were addressed in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. The EAAB’s disqualifications and claims manager, advocate Debbie Vial, explained the regulator’s decision to allow exemptions when qualifying for an FFC was prompted by the current untransformed state of the property sector. “The property sector is lily-white and needs to change as a matter of urgency,” Vial said.

She continued that the Board has since realised that part of the problem hindering transformation has been the requirements to qualify for an FFC as set in the 1976 Estate Agency Affairs Act. Some of the requirements, such as annually having to have an audit done of a trust account or acquiring the educational qualifications within the prescribed time period, are expensive and had become barriers to transformation as they are keeping people out of the profession.

“The Board has now found a way through Section 27 of the Act to facilitate transformation of the sector by granting exemption from requirements of the Act, where it is in the interest of justice to do so,” Vial explained.

Previously disadvantaged agents are those as defined in terms of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003. The Board made a resolution that PDI agents, who do not otherwise qualify, may apply to be issued with an FFC on terms and conditions allowed by the Board.

She said the Board do expect that there will be a backlash from white agents who would also want to apply for exemption. Vial said they would be told to approach the Constitutional Court.

Exemptions that PDI agents can apply for include the following:

  • Exemption from submission of audit reports – but still submitting financial statements
  • Exemption from full or partial payment of registration and renewal fees for FFC’s
  • Exemption from the educational requirements – this means an intern agent can apply for a limited extended time to complete the required NQF4 *

Certain general conditions do apply – amongst others the applicant has to prove that his turnover does not exceed R5 million per annum. The Board will also take into account constraints such as serious health conditions, historical educational disadvantages and the geographic location of the agent. Applications will have to include a signed affidavit, 12-month bank statements and other supporting documents as are needed.

It is important that estate agents should be regulated as there are unscrupulous criminals out there defrauding vulnerable people Vial said. It is therefore important to note that should the agent not comply with the conditions under which the FFC was granted (e.g. doesn’t submit bank statements or don’t obtain the required qualification in the extended time), then the FFC becomes invalid.

Vial explained that the Board is in the process of finalising the implementation process for the exemption applications to run smoothly and should have everything ready within the next six weeks. Once all is ready, there will be a link on the EAAB website where PDI agents can apply online to qualify for an exemption.

Some of the attending agents welcomed the announcement but added that it is unfortunate that it has taken a such long time. Sipho Tyira, EAAB Transformation Project Manager,  acknowledged that the EAAB in the past lacked the drive to make it easier for PDI agents to become estate agents, but said things are changing at the regulator, especially with the new CEO Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi for whom transformation is a top priority.

Read what CEO Mohlala-Mulaudzi said about transformation here

“Transformation is no longer a nice conversation we are having over a cup of tea – a ‘new dawn’ is also breaking for the EAAB, if I may use the phrase,” he said. Tyira encouraged PDI agents to form representative bodies that could speak on their behalf to the EAAB.

Any queries on the exemptions may be addressed either to Vial on debra.vial@eaab.org.za or to Tyira on sipho.tyira@eaab.org.za .

*The original post made a factual error about the practical implementation of the educational exemption. Property Professional apologize for any inconvenience caused. Ed.

Showing 13 comments
  • Sewpersad

    Can PDI apply for exemption from CPD , to obtain their FFC.
    The agents are also 77 years and 75 years of age.
    They have been refused FFC but have already paid for it and have more than 10 years service ?

  • Geoff Stroebel

    All and well, and I encourage the exemptions. However, transformation will NEVER happen in a commission-only environment and that is that. Not even lily-white estate agents are making a decent income in SA anymore.
    One cannot simple “become and estate agent” by being given exemptions for payment of fees. It takes reserve capital for at least 12 months just to survive the year’s internship, plus another 12 months cash as back-up and then a serviceable vehicle, internet connectivity and a mobile phone contract are minima.
    Good luck!

  • DJK

    After 25 years of liberation – PDI should be called CP (Currently privileged).There is no legislation holding any race group bck, it’s an even playing field. Even for white, colored and Indian agents the new EAAB regulations is enough to test even a fairly well educated persons intellect. Besides the industry been “lily white” (which I find to be quite a demeaning comment) the biggest issue is that 98% of the agents are well over the ages of 50 with no new blood from any race group showing an interest in the industry as a career. No basic salary, No medical aid, no percs, must have your own vehicle & cell phone ect doesn’t make the property sector an attractive career. Instead of making life easier for the PDI’s maybe its time to think a outside the box…..

  • Audrey Jansen

    This is absolutely awesome news thank you

  • Josephine Soap

    So we are not all equal after all…

  • S Verlinde

    hope this is an 1 April joke ??

  • Remo

    This EAAB is unbelievable!!
    They are the ones that started this whole issue of changing the education requirements which all agents had to suffer through! Now they are making education exceptions based on race!! What a joke!!
    They are the ones that are charging ridiculous fees for CPD just so that they can fund their gravy train and fly around the country staying in fancy hotels and having fancy dinners, etc. at the agents cost!! The whole CPD should be down on e-learning and that can be done at less than a quarter of the fees this bunch of idiots have zapped us with, unilaterally!! Now they are trying to reduce costs for only one part of the population!! What a joke!!
    This new CEO is as bad, if not worse than the last one!!

  • John

    Good, however much more needs to be done, otherwise, our industry is on the verge of collapse. Please get people that want to work instead of people waiting to get paid.

  • moses

    This is a very welcoming development. We have been struggling to register our companies as black people with all this red tapes. I hope to register my company new and get my face. The CPD issue must also be addressed, it cannot be correct that we can’t renew our ffc because of it. We always strive to be compliant, so please make it easy for us

  • judith tankiso mazibuko

    I would like to know about the PDE. I have NQF4&5 , My company was blocked due to me not doing my PDE as my company was not operating
    Can i also be exempted for my FFC

  • Des Kiely

    What a complete an utter slap in the face of black professionals that know and understand that the costs of getting qualified (FFC log book PDE) are negligible in relation to the day to day running costs of being an agent. I would loath feeling like I’m a special case as a result of getting a cheap hand out because of my race. Agents are self employed business entrepreneurs and making the grade and competing head to head with colleagues of all race groups is the business. Where does this stop – company cars fuel and cell phone allowances etc etc

  • Manoj

    I am an estate agent for the past 25 years. As is the norm we agents don’t even contribute to UIF. With the Covid-19 pandemic we are basically unemployed and obviously not earning monies. What can the EAAB do to assist agents that are feeling the pinch of this shutdown? In my opinion we as agents should at least be registered to pay UIF and in times like this we should also be allowed to claim for temporary unemployment. I know the argument will be that we are independent contractors but this does not mean we have to always sustain ourselves.
    The EAAB has over time collected our FFC registrations and I’m sure they have funds to assist agents. In the future after the pandemic, I can see there will be quite a number that will be out of this business.
    Your input is vital.

    • Helene Meissenheimer

      Jan le Rouw, CE of Rebosa responds: Agents should be contributing to UIF in terms of the law but one cannot claim when you are not employed. However, the current lock-down does not equal unemployment. The EAAB does not have the funds nor the authority to pay estate agents any income. The objects of the EAAB are to maintain and promote the standard of conduct of estate agents and to regulate the activities of estate agents – that is it. Agents unfortunately can at best avail themselves of the assistance available to all businesses in as far as that materialise.

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