MAIN IMAGE: Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
One of the primary objectives with the Property Practitioners Act is to make South Africa’s property sector more accessible for black people. However, it is the regulations that will give effect to the Act. The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation (DHS) has just published the draft regulations for public comment.
The new Act will replace the outdated Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976 thereby bringing in many changes to the property sector. One of these changes include a much broader definition of who will qualify as a property practitioner including professions and groups such as auctioneers, property managers, bond brokers and even home-owners’ associations under certain conditions.
Government envisions that the new Act will improve the professionalism of the property sector and promote demographic transformation. One of the ways it hopes to achieve the latter will be by removing some of the barriers to entry for previously disadvantaged individuals such as the requirement to have a trust account. The draft regulations details how qualifying individuals may go about to apply for an exemption on having a trust account.
Another change will be the establishment of a Transformation Fund six months after the new regulatory body was established to replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). The draft regulations provide more details on how these objectives will be accomplished.
The Act also endeavors to provide more protection for consumers.
The DHS minister published the draft regulations to the Act on Friday 6 March in the Government Gazette for public comment. DHS and the EAAB urges ALL property practitioners (auctioneers, bonding regulators, trusts, property valuators and accessors) to comment on the regulations. Forward written submissions to Lisa.Masilo@dhs.gov.za or Rose.Murray@dhs.gov.za . Their contact numbers: Lisa Masilo 012 444 9097 and Rose Murray 012 444 9283.
This week DHS also began with a series of public information sessions on the draft regulations which will be held over the coming weeks in all nine provinces ending with the last session taking place on 14 May in Cape Town – the first sessions took place this week in the Eastern Cape. All sessions will start at 10:00 and end at 13:00. The full schedule of when and where DHS will be in each province is on their website – just click on Property Practitioners Regulations 2020.
More information on the draft regulations to follow soon.