SA’s property sector speaks with one voice

SA’s property sector speaks with one voice

MAIN IMAGE: Vuyiswa Mutshekwane, CEO SAIBPP; Neil Gopal, CEO SAPOA; Leo Mlambo, president National Property Forum; Coenie Groenewald, CEO NAMA.

Economic relief during the Covid-19 pandemic is the first order of business for the newly-formed council of the broader property sector, the National Property Practitioners Council (NPPC) that will represent the sector going forward on issues connected with the property industry.

For the first time in the history of the South African real estate sector, representative bodies have come together to form a unified national council, devoid of the constraints of self-interest by any particular sector of the industry, to act as the national industry representative body in all matters pertaining to the sector.

The founding members of the NPPC are: South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP), South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (REBOSA), National Property Forum (NPF), National Association of Managing Agents (NAMA), Institute of Certified Business Brokers, South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA), Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA) and the South African Business Broking Association (SABBA).

Chaired by Vuyiswa Mutshekwane, current CEO of the SAIBPP, and with the support of leading industry stalwarts Jan le Roux (Rebosa), Neil Gopal (SAPOA), Coenie Groenewald (NAMA), Leo Mlambo (NPF), Mike Hindle (Institute Certified Business Brokers); Bill Hartard (SAIA); Edgar Blomeyer (IEASA) and Ferdie van Greunen (SABBA), the ‘council’ is assured of the requisite skills and institutional knowledge to best represent the sector at national and government level.

“A national consolidated voice in the property sector has been long overdue. However, the catalyst for the establishment of the NPPC was the promulgation of the Property Practitioners Act which now brings various role players in industry together under a single Act and regulation. There is therefore now a greater need for coordination and collaboration amongst industry stakeholders and representatives,” says Mutshekwane.

Priority Covid-19 business relief

The first order of business for the new ‘council’ was to address the economic impact of Covid-19 on the sector and to pursue relief measures to mitigate some of the challenges. An appeal was sent by the NPPC to government to relax certain lockdown restrictions to ensure the continuation of the sectors economic supply chain. The proposed interventions include opening the Deeds Office with a skeleton staff to register properties and a call for local councils to issue rates clearance certificates.

Numerous other affected organisations representing the legal fraternity, valuers, mortgage origination industry etc also sent appeals in this regard to government. According to Mutshekwane they’ve only had confirmation that their appeals have been received, but she was optimistic that President Cyril Ramaphosa would address some of the proposals in his address to the nation on Thursday.

In other countries such as the USA estate agency services have been declared an essential service. Asked whether the NPPC also appealed regarding the same for South Africa, Mutshekwane said the health and safety of all practitioners is the priority of the NPPC. That is why they proposed the re-opening of the Deeds Office with a skeleton staff and for municipalities to prioritise issuing of rate clearance certificates. This would expedite the process of issuing commission to estate agents dependent on commission as income and also benefit other property-related professionals such as conveyancers, bond brokers etc.

Mutshekwane added that the industry regulator, the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), has also been approached to waive certain fees and penalties. This include the waiver of all CPD fees for 2020, the extension of the audit submission deadline and a payment holiday for all agents in arrears with exam fees and fines until February 2021.

In addition to the above, the NPPC is also currently in discussions about additional relief measures that could be implemented. “However, we remain hopeful that Cabinet and President Cyril Ramaphosa will take into consideration the very real and imminent threat to the economy and the property sector in the announcement of further regulations,” says Mutshekwane.

Also a high priority on the NPPC agenda are the draft regulations which will give effect to the new Property Practitioners Act; fast-tracking transformation initiatives; addressing industry growth opportunities and streamlining and building relations between the industry, government and all relevant stakeholders. The NPPC also aims to work closely with the regulatory authority to facilitate industry-wide consultation going forward.

Showing 36 comments
  • Sandy Bourne
    Reply

    I know rates clearance certificates are a priority but so are inspections, they also need to be done. This also needs to be mentioned.

  • Alun
    Reply

    Then people who have paid CPD points already should have exemption or refund then

  • KR Leahy
    Reply

    Long overdue and should be welcomed by all.

  • Francis Samson
    Reply

    Well done, brilliant news.

  • Cas Muller
    Reply

    Do the founding members still continue to operate independently as they have up to now and are their members in turn still liable to pay subscriptions to the institutions they belong to?

    • Helene Meissenheimer
      Reply

      Hi Cas, we followed this up with Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa. He comments as follows: “All the industry bodies continue to operate independently just as before and normal membership fees etcetera still apply. All these bodies joined forces in the NPPC to have a stronger voice on behalf of the industry but only on matters of mutual concern/agreement. Individual bodies will still look after the best interests of their own members at all times.”

  • Peter
    Reply

    Mutshekwane added that the industry regulator, the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), has also been approached to waive certain fees and penalties. This include the waiver of all CPD fees for 2020, the extension of the audit submission deadline and a payment holiday for all agents in arrears with exam fees and fines until February 2021.

    Would love to know what the EAAB response was to this proposition?
    I feel they have a duty and obligation to assist.

    • Helene Meissenheimer
      Reply

      Hi Peter, we did ask the EAAB to comment on this matter, but have not had any response from them.

  • seamus connell
    Reply

    A historical moment.
    Please keep the industry posted re extension of EAAB audit submissions
    thank you
    Seamus Connell

  • RALPH PANDOY
    Reply

    Thank you, the NPPC for taking the plight of estate agents to the President. My only worry is that the wheels of justice are turning very slowly and we may only get an answer from the President after the Lock down has been lifted. What happens to us commission earners. how do we survive in the meantime? Matters of such URGENCY should be prioritized by those in power. Why is sthe EAAB taking so long to respond. What have they got up their sleeves?

  • Rowan Terwin
    Reply

    This is GREAT NEWS!!!! Let’s hope that the property practitioners finally have a body that can be efficient, professional and have the interests of all sectors at heart.

  • Linda Marais
    Reply

    Thank you for the information.

    Another question: Is the lending criteria of the banks going to change more strict than it is already?

  • Hayley Le Roux
    Reply

    Since real estate is considered an essential service in other countries why is it not deemed such in SA. Opening the deeds office and rates department is a start and will assist agents that have registrations in the pipe line. Sadly this cannot be said for agents that don’t have registrations in the pipe line, and rental agents.

  • Ann Roux
    Reply

    Well for one, hopefully our fees for CPD 2020 will be waived … and will CPD continue as per usual

  • Kathleen Stevens
    Reply

    May I please ask that you keep me updated on the developments?

  • Charmain
    Reply

    Lets hope this body has teeth

    • Helene Meissenheimer
      Reply

      Kathleen, Property Professional is working hard to keep our readers up to date with the continually changing developments. More next week!

  • Alec Lau
    Reply

    Estate agency services, bond origination, both within the banks and the independent operators, and property management, in whatever form, should be declared essential services.

    I am very encouraged that we now have a national voice within the newly-formed NPPC and look forward to the initiatives by the Chairperson and the 1st Committee to level the playing fields locally for us as commission-based earners and align them with international best practices for our industry.

  • Amanda Geldenhuys
    Reply

    What about allowing people to move. A lot of rentals were forced to be placed on hold. People were not allowed to move and rental agents as well as landlords are loosing their monthly income. With people not being able to fulfill their housing obligations even house sales agents are literally facing close down without the income. We are all commission-based earners. No work no pay. Thousands of agents are out of pocket and landlords, buyers and sellers are all financially stressed as a result. This is an essential service as in the greater specs of things so many people are affected by one transaction. The already stressed industry is facing total collapse if the stakeholders don’t give assistance or lift the ban on the industry.

  • Eunice
    Reply

    Great! I am a rental agent and have people who signed Lease Agreements to move in on 1st April and due to the lockdown everything has come to a standstill. Would appreciate some input on the way forward for these tenants and also on inspections/marketing.

  • Sandy Smal
    Reply

    Please advise or visit the problems surrounding rentals and moving in and out of properties. Landlords have vacant properties while some tenants who had packed up their homes to move on 1 April are living out of their boxes.
    Are rental practioners allowed to do ongoing and outgoing inspections?
    Are removal companies allowed to operate?

    • Helene Meissenheimer
      Reply

      Hi Sandy, hopefully the government will give more clarity on this next week. We are going to address the post-lockdown rental queries in an article next week.

  • Marlene Allul
    Reply

    After all these years of awaiting the above.
    Well done to all.

  • Liane Ellis
    Reply

    An excellent idea. Well done.
    However, I still feel that agents and agencies should not only have a CPD payment holiday (refund to those who have already paid), but the EAAB should provide financial assistance to each and every agent from the Fidelity Fund (that fund which the previous regime misused and abused).
    Agents generally cannot claim from UIF as they do not contribute to such fund / do not earn fixed monthly salaries. The EAAB owes them financial assistance.

  • Nontsikelelo Mgayiya
    Reply

    This is really exciting news and I am hopeful that the President will view our industry as an essential service and give relief to the already stressed market that we are in. Well done to our leadership!!

  • Andre' Landman
    Reply

    No mention of the expediting of registrations benefiting the most important players……..ie: OUR BUYERS and SELLERS

  • Maureen Palmer
    Reply

    Great News about NPPC we will bear you up in our prayers , hoping that your message and plea on our behalf is understood , and for the best outcomes!
    It is rather sad that the Industry; it’s Operation and Contribution to GDP of this Country, was completely forgotten and set aside until now, whilst the Minister of Human Settlements is part of the President’s Command Council?
    Housing and nutrition goes hand in hand !

  • Mike sechabela
    Reply

    All complexes and estate homeowners must be transparent in how they allow other estate agents or are given their fair share of trade in their complexes. Blacks agencies are struggling to get access in many white dominated complexes and estates … even if you register with them.

  • Mike
    Reply

    Why is it so expensive to advertise in Property24 and Private Property … and the Saturday Star? May the Competition Commission intervene or may there be an investigation into who owns these portals and who gets rebates. Something is not adding up …. They are quick to disconnected us ….

  • Mike
    Reply

    We are asking the EAAB to subsidize us our marketing or subsidize a new marketing app or portal for black estate agents … to level the playing fields. And Star newspaper subsidy…. It’s putting us on the back foot. Others are getting rebates ….

  • Grace
    Reply

    It would be great if we could work, but, for the greater good we might just have to ‘Vasbyt’ a little longer and work from home

  • Hosiah Mamabolo
    Reply

    Well done.
    You are representing us well.
    Lets hope the President hears our plight.

    Regards

  • Denise Hawkins
    Reply

    Please can someone advise – my tenant Garden Route Game Lodge is renting my house in Albertinia, they have asked for a rental holiday. I agreed, but they must pay full municipal bill, and a new lease in three month to increase rental for 12 months, to recover cost. I have not heard from them again so I invoice regular monthly rent. If the rent is not paid can I serve an eviction notice. Or how do I handle it.

  • Evert
    Reply

    Wonderful news pray that we can start with property viewings soon and maybe get a few rentals done by this weekend.

  • Graham
    Reply

    I suspect that a full disinfection of a property might become a reality.?just thinking aloud

  • Adriaan (Entegral)
    Reply

    It’s sad that it took a virus to get industry to speak with ‘one voice’ but seems to lack any weight in government’s eyes so far….think government will suddenly take this new organisation with no history of action behind them (and just an umbrella organisation for the other fragments) serious? Good luck though, industry needs all the help it can get, better late than never. I do think this has simply created more bloat.

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