EAAB this must stop!
MAIN IMAGE: Mamodupi Mohlala, CEO of Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB)
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) again has a technical failure fiasco on their hands.
Last Thursday 25 February hundreds if not thousands of estate agents and principals sat down for their online Professional Designation Examination (PDE). What ensued was described by many as a nightmare with allegedly no or little support from the technical team or anyone else from the EAAB.
Due to the Covid pandemic the Board last year announced that all future PDE examinations would be conducted strictly online. There would no longer be an option to write a venue-based exam. The first online examination took place on 19 November. There were some technical problems but it worked more or less. The cost to write the exam is R2 500.
The second roll-out of the online PDE exam was last Thursday. However, this time the technical problems had multiplied exponentially. Some estate agents struggled to access the online platform for hours while frantically calling and sending multiple emails to the EAAB’s appointed IT support team but with no response. Another major problem was that exam candidates could not return to questions to review their answers before submitting their exam paper – this despite indications on the exam platform that it would be allowed.
Frustrated by the lack of response from the EAAB to their calls and emails many estate agents vented their outrage on social media platforms. Yet the EAAB up to now has remained silent – not even an acknowledgement has been received on Property Professional’s request for comments on this matter.
This cannot continue!
Technical system problems are nothing new when it comes to the lack of service delivery estate agents receive from their regulatory body. For the past few years, the EAAB has blamed the annual backlog to issue FFC’s timeously on an outdated IT system. Promises to address the problem was already made in 2017 but actual updating of the system has been continuously postponed. This year the entity’s CEO Mamodupi Mohlala said they are now going to start the process to overhaul and update the IT system.
Consequently, thousands of estate agents every year, despite fulfilling all regulatory requirements to renew their FFC, start the new year unable to legally earn an income through commission.
This is a matter of great concern as the new Property Practitioners Act, which is expected to become enacted this year possibly even as early as 1 April, strictly prohibits conveyancers from paying commission to anyone unable to present a FFC.
Exasperated with the lack of action industry body Rebosa earlier this year brought an urgent court application against the EAAB in an effort to ensure compliance with the Act and the Regulations. The EAAB is opposing the court application.
Besides the FFC backlog other technical-related problems with the regulator include:
- Thousands of unanswered queries
- CPD online training courses that can’t be accessed and confusion over payment allocations between last year and this year
- Agents from previously disadvantaged groups (PDI’s) unable to avail themselves of the opportunities offered under the ‘PDI Resolution’
“Thousands of agents are at risk, most often due to EAAB malfunction. This cannot continue!” says Rebosa chief executive Jan le Roux.