No FFC after 6 months of emails and calls

No FFC after 6 months of emails and calls

MAIN IMAGE: The notice on the homepage of the EAAB about unresolved FFCs.

For six months intern estate agent Seth Stephens queried the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) repeatedly about progress with his FFC application. Their last response was the final straw … now he wants to warn others who are thinking of becoming property practitioners.

On 13 August 2019 Seth Stephens, a former air traffic controller in his 50’s, completed the EAAB’s online application for an intern estate agent and made an application for an intern fidelity fund certificate. On the same date he also paid the stipulated fee of R583.

Then his troubles began.

After 20 working days he sent an online query and received an automated response confirming receipt – the first of many such responses to numerous queries. Stephens also tried phoning the regulator’s office but (after waiting long durations or being transferred to numbers that don’t answer) was always instructed to resubmit his application including proof of payment.

Six months later in February this year the EAAB informed his agency that they confirm receipt of payment but told them the problem lies with Stephen’s registration number which they said should have been entered without his initial and surname.

The EAAB requested Stephens to submit a letter stating that a mistake had been made in his payment reference – even though this same reference number had been used by both the EAAB and Stephens numerously over the last six months.

This communication followed after the statement by the EAAB’s CEO Mamodupi Mohlala that all FFCs, that had been applied for timeously by 31 October 2019, had been issued by 20 December.

Also read: EAAB disappoints

The last request from the EAAB was too much. On 5 February 2020 Stephens resigned as intern estate agent. He explains why:

“So what I am now being told is, although the EAAB received my proof of payment with my application and that they acknowledged a number of online queries by automated email, and also responded to my telephone queries by repeatedly informing me to upload copies of documents already previously uploaded, that I must now acknowledge that the reference used on the proof of payment was a mistake on my part because it included the addition of my initial and name with the correct reference number, and I must now again do the rounds of acquiring a new certified copy of my ID (2020 dated), upload a “new” letter of affiliation with my agency (dated 2020), and I must also make reference to “today’s” conversation between the agency and the EAAB with the EAAB Reference Number (dated 2020).

“Is this truly the actions of an upstanding, transparent, helpful, guiding, profession-enhancing regulating body that leads and carries integrity? I do not believe the EAAB is any of these. What I have experienced in the long six months of my dealings with the EAAB is a regulator that makes no effort to support new applications (is this selective?), a regulator that is incapable of meeting its own prescribed deadlines, a regulator that is overly bureaucratic, and one that is incapable of adequate or timely communications.

“I believe that my dealings with the EAAB both by email (they just do not respond), and by telephone (lack support) have clearly shown this EAAB staff to be inept and very unhelpful and that it shows the organization to be both leadership and management challenged. This latest requirement to now resubmit all documents with 2020 dates smacks of a cover-up of such inadequacies. I must now also believe that any efforts made by me to continue in the property practitioner profession would only result in ongoing vindictiveness towards me on the part of the EAAB.”

Back in August last year and having looked through the regulations pertaining to Property Practitioners (both past and newly proposed),

Stephens says back in August last year, having looked through the regulations pertaining to property practitioners (both current and newly proposed), he honestly thought that going whole-heartedly into the property practitioner profession and ensuring full compliance with all rules and regulations would be rewarding and worthwhile.

“I was clearly very, very wrong about these thoughts, and I am now of the firm belief that the entire business of estate agencies, estate agents and property practitioners is at best always treading close to being unethical.”

Stephens says numerous agents suggested to him during the past six months to just get on with doing the job without waiting for the FFC. Although tempting under the circumstances, he says he decided each time to rather make another query to the EAAB for his FFC. It does make him wonder how many agencies have agents that are working without the required FFC.

The past six months has been a wasteful and costly experience as he was unable to earn any income in the property profession. Stephens says he believes he must warn prospective agents thinking of joining the property practitioner profession about the shortcomings and communicate his experience openly to any and every ear that will listen.

Continuing efforts made to resolve outstanding FFCs

The EAAB in a statement on their homepage says they are currently resolving all outstanding FFC-related queries. All FFC-queries must be sent via email to ffc.complaints@eaab.org.za. With regards to Stephen’s case, he has apparently now been issued with an FFC. This is according to an email from Chandre Prins of the office of EAAB CEO Mamodupi Mohlala. Prins says Stephens has been issued with a valid FFC which is available on the EAAB portal. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” she ends.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of agents that have had the same experience as Seth Stephens – the FFC renewal or application was paid timeously but, despite repeated queries and calls to the EAAB, come 2020 no FFC had been issued with little or no feedback on the current progress to resolve the matter. Rebosa is continuing to assist many of these agents. To request their assistance with your 2020 FFC, send a query to the EAAB on the email address above and then complete the form on Rebosa’s website (important to include your EAAB reference number).

Showing 15 comments
  • Rosanna Govender
    Reply

    I am having the same problem. No ffc FOR 2020 and cannot do my CPD for 2019 yet both have been paid for last year.

    • James Davies
      Reply

      Ditto , very poor service, compared to 2 years ago when it was comparatively excellent, things seem to be falling apart now.

  • V PAVLAKIS
    Reply

    WAITING SINCE OCTOBER 2019

  • Mike Spencer
    Reply

    We would be far better off without the EAAB at all. What we are now facing is an intake of people who have not complied with the educational requirements, have not sat the required exams. Can work like this for five year! In other words the public is going to be faced with estate agents and agencies that are non-compliant and are expected to believe that industry has standards! What a joke. Yes we need more people in the industry but then rather do away with the EAAB. Allow REBOSA and IEASA to set standards for the members and allow the public to chose who they work with (or don’t). Companies will then be able to employ people who really want to work and learn. Costs of employing people will come down as will the difficulties of trying to register people. I cannot understand why it is not the company that registers agents that work for them. How can a company regulate their staff if they don’t know who is or who is not registered. Just for information the new act states that if the EAAB does not issue a certificate within 30 days (or show a reason why it is not issued) then the certificate is deemed to have been issue.

    • Dimona
      Reply

      to Mike Spencer … WELL said Mike, this EAAB under current management is not even a JOKE … !!!! but rather unprofessional and uneducated bunch of people trying to show off their “HIDDEN” credibilities
      Why we must pay R 2000.00 for PDE and others ????
      This is just money making machine for bunch of clowns from EAAB …where eventualy we pay their salary, bonuces and overseas holidays!!!

  • Vida
    Reply

    I well understand the frustration of the agent ( Stephens) as myself have been experiencing similar issues for the past 6 months with the office of EAAB. I still have not received my FFC. Yesterday their office suggested I should email eaab@eaab.org.za to complain about the registration office.

  • Les Reynard
    Reply

    Quite some time ago, the EAAB in their wisdom, dropped all qualifiying exams for EAs – why? to all PDIs to be able to be Estate Agents – many could not pass the entrance exam which consisted of 40 questions on general and 40 on the maths – all I believe were multichoice answers.
    In no way was it a difficult exam.

    Then they turned and came out with NQF4 and NQF5 and CPDs – never mind the costs of these exams the CPD is R2500 pa – isnt it all a money-making scheme so there is more for them to be corrupt with?
    They had a qualified audit last year – they have the cheek to send auditors to our business to ensure we are doing our jobs correctly, what about their work?? Who is checking on them?

  • ERICA SOLOMON
    Reply

    Hi, I have just returned from the EAAB this afternoon after spending so many hours there. I paid for my FFC on the 24th October, 2019 an amount of R2 500. I had just returned from hospital, in major pain but knew I had till the 31st October, 2019. I too put my name and my number when paying. I got confused and paid too much and I am then also penalised for putting my name on my payment. After calls, emails, going onto my FFC to prove my story and sending proof of payment and an acknowledgment saying that the matter will be attended to. I’m still waiting. I have a mandate on a property in a building which will not allow an agent to work unless they have their current FFC. I spent the best part of 3 or more hrs there today. The guy at payments could not find my payments due to the above. He did however, tell me that I had paid for my CPD in October for the year of 2019. I explained that I had paid that in March 2019 and why would I then pay it again in October. No he says you will have to lose that money. I had proof of everything but it took nearly the entire staff of EAAB to understand one simple thing that is not for a scientist to understand. I have overpaid for my FFC. If you want to use the R2 500 for my CPD for 2020 fine, I will then pay for my FFC now but give me my certificate. There is an automated message on my computer it will be ready tomorrow.
    Another comment is. I have been an estate agent for over 30 yrs. I have done every one of my exams, courses etc. I still paid my FFC despite I was a single parent with no income as yet but I did not get 5 yrs to pay it. Please guys, this is so embarrassing. Employing people who have no education, no FFC etc and wonder why the industry is so corrupt. The agents from my era are a totally different kjind of Agent (not all). The fact that we are doing the CPD is a joke. I sat in a sectional title lecture I think last year and the attorney standing up was asked a question by an agent :Sir, can you explain how you work out the participation quota) for a sectional title so that one may be able to explain to out clients. With a conveyancing backround of many years I was aghast to hear the attorney tell this agent a whole lot of garbage. My sister, also an agent stood up and told this attorney how it worked. There were many other mistakes made. I have to date not heard one agent ever say that in all the 6/7 years we have been doing the CPD that they have had any benefit from it. The only people deriving any benefit is the EAAB.
    PLEASE!!! will someone hear us. Wev’e been made promises for so long and still after so many years nothing but nothing has improved in fact deterioted. The staff are not trained to do this job.

  • Ann
    Reply

    I waited 24 months for my FFC. Since January 2018. I finally received it 2 weeks ago, two weeks after my 2 year anniversary waiting for it…

  • Remo
    Reply

    I have been trying for approximately 3 years now to get the EAAB to change my email address and I am still waiting!! I have tried doing it on the website but it comes back with the same error message, I have spoken to the call centre numerous times about it, still nothing, I have sent an email to the EAAB, no response, not even a confirmation of receipt which I asked for in the email.
    Last year when I paid my FFC fees, I could not do it on their website as I was still getting the same error message as when I tried updating my email address. I was told by the call centre that they will escalate the issue but that I would have to go into the EAAB to pay my fees, so duly went into the EAAB and wasted 4 hours of my time because they are incompetent and cant fix a simple erroron their website ! What if I lived in Springbok or some other outlying area?
    The EAAB is the most dis-functional and incompetent organisation I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. This arrogant CEO, together with the board should resign immediately.

  • Remo
    Reply

    Has anyone sat down and worked out what the EAAB is making out of CPD fees alone? When they first started the CPD program, there were approximately 70,000 agents and principals registered.
    Lets say currently there are 50,000 agents X R2,000 = R 100 million/annum and I haven’t even taken into account the R 2,500 that principals have to pay!!!
    How can the EAAB justify that they need R 100 million/annum to run a system that I could probably run more effectively for a couple of hundred thousand?
    The answer to this question is that the previous CEO had been running the EAAB at a loss for about 5 years and in order to balance the books, he came up with the CPD!!! The new CEO would probably also run it at a loss if she didn’t have the CPD to fund her gravy train.
    People, we are to blame for allowing this FFC issue to continue.
    All agents should get together and bring a class action court case against the EAAB , the CEO and the entire board, for not issueing the FFC’s on time!! In fact the useless minister should be included as she has known about this issue for years and has done zippo about it!!!

  • Alun Solomon
    Reply

    Wow, reading all these comments is so frustrating. Remo has the right idea, but they should be fired, as i doubt they would resign. Too much money in the back pockets.
    YOU CANT FIX STUPID !!!

  • Hennie
    Reply

    Please send me an e-mail to training@proptools.co.za detailing your issues with the EAAB, ie FFC, CPD, PDE results, etc.

    I will investigate on your behalf and report back. If the matter can be resolved in a single visit, there will be no cost. On more complex issues we will give you a quotation to resolve it.

    It is a fact that all payments to the EAAB must be made against your 7 digit Ref# as the only reference in the beneficiary “box” when you do an EFT. I suggest that agents should NOT use the online credit card option on the MYEAAB portal. This allows for “auto allocation” of payments. However this system is not always working. Payments made with other references used. like names being added or spaces between the 7 digit Ref# (PIN) will result in these payments allocated to a suspense account and payments will only be traced by visiting the EAAB in person.

  • Chris Crous
    Reply

    The failure of the EAAB for the past number of years is not only a massive frustration to all the agents but it is something we can surely do without !
    What I really can not understand is why the CEO’s, of the BIG agencies out there, have done nothing about it.
    Why not start a massive boycott of paying for the 2020 CPD’s?? We, as the small agencies do not have the clout, these guys have. Yes, Rebosa is there and they are trying to help BUT what we really need is the ‘funeral’ of this most useless organisation, the EAAB.

  • Akasanee
    Reply

    I have changed company in August last year and my principal paid for change of employment.
    I paid for my 2020 FFC.
    We now in February 2020 and a simple thing to issue my 2020 FFC is not achieved. I am a full status agent and now this affects my CPD. The bank request my 2020 FFC for a clients deal and looks like my commission will be held back.
    So frustrating to know you query all the time and no resolution from the board. Making calls to the board is a mission.
    Indeed frustrating.

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