EAAB must issue FFCs immediately

EAAB must issue FFCs immediately

Final ruling in short:

  • The EAAB must issue all outstanding FFCs of the estate agents and agencies listed in Rebosa’s court order application without further delay
  • If there are proper grounds to decline the certificate, the applicant must be informed of the reasons why it is declined
  • The EAAB must submit a report within 30 days of the judgement detailing the processing of FFC applications for 2021

A win for estate agents

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has been ordered to issue without delay all outstanding fidelity fund certificates (FFCs) to the applicants listed in the urgent court order brought by Rebosa. In her final judgement Gauteng High Court Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane found that the EAAB had failed to present reliable evidence why the entity has not yet issued FFCs to the affected estate agents and agencies.

Judgement was expected last week after the hearing on 5 March, but the EAAB’s desperate attempts at late submission of supplementary affidavits resulted in the delay with final judgement only presented on 15 March.

In fact, the conduct of the entity during the litigation procedures was such that Judge Kathree-Setiloane in her judgement mentioned it as “further evidence of the disarray in the EAAB and the concerns raised by Rebosa”.

Judgement welcome

Judge Kathree-Setiloane ruled that all applicants who had not already been issued with an FFC are therefore entitled to be issued with one without further delay. If the EAAB determines to decline any of these applications, they need to inform the applicant within five days of making the determination.

In 30 days from the ruling, the EAAB must submit a report to the court, with Rebosa copied in, that includes details on the following: how many FFC applications were received by 31 October 2020; how many of these applications were approved or declined and how many FFCs were issued. The EAAB also must indicate the number of unresolved applications and the total funds currently held in its suspense account.

The ruling in favour of Rebosa and its co-applicants with EAAB to be held responsible for the legal costs incurred. Judge Kathree-Setiloane agreed to a punitive cost order against the EAAB. “I am of the view that the EAAB’s sustained breach of its statutory duties and its failure to acknowledge any wrong is a sufficient basis to justify an order of costs on the scale as between attorney and client,” she said.

Commenting on the ruling, Rebosa CEO Jan le Roux said they welcome the opportunity to work with the regulator on a closer, more meaningful basis in order to rectify the systemic problems plaguing the EAAB.

Rebosa chairman Tony Clarke said he believes that the regulator has a huge role to play in ensuring the professionalism required to operate in the real estate industry, but it cannot do so until it has attended to the issues highlighted in the courts’ judgement. “Rebosa looks forward to these changes being brought about expeditiously so that we can all focus on other pressing issues inter alia the implementation of the new Property Practitioners Act and its regulations and transformation,” he concluded.

The EAAB issued the following statement on 22 March 2021:

The EAAB notes the judgement from the High Court regarding the court application by Rebosa to compel the EAAB to issue outstanding Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFCs). The EAAB legal team is studying the judgement and will determine the next course of action.
Rebosa indicated that some 832 FFCs were outstanding in relation to the more than 35000 that the EAAB had already successfully issued.
The EAAB notes that of the 832 FFCs cited by Rebosa, 629 have been issued; 166 have been found to be duplications and the balance of 37 will be finalised as soon as the EAAB receives outstanding documentation requested from the estate agents.
We note the importance of FFCs for persons’ livelihoods and therefore all compliant FFC applicants deserve to hold their FFCs. We remain committed to ensuring that every legitimate FFC applicant can get his or her certificate in time and is able to operate. Among the reasons
for outstanding FFC applications were incomplete documentation and duplicate applications. Most of the affected applicants were communicated to at various intervals in late 2020 and informed of the delays.
The EAAB remains committed to its efforts to continue its working relationship with Rebosa that includes weekly stakeholder meetings where such issues can be tabled and resolved.
Showing 20 comments
  • Karl Buschow
    Reply

    GREAT NEWS

  • ROB WILLMOT, WILLMOT PROPERTIES
    Reply

    WELL DONE TONY, JAN AND TEAM !!!

    YOU HAVE WORKED HARD FOR THIS………..CONGRATS !!

  • Victor
    Reply

    The maladministration has been going on for years, far too long!

  • Kiki
    Reply

    Well done Rebosa … at last !!

  • Moira A Wingate
    Reply

    The maladministration of EAAB affairs is an on-going problem It is noted that only named individuals and agencies are affected by the order. Has Property Professional any advice regarding the resolution of queries which are holding up the issuing of permits.

    Generally the EAAB advises that the matter will be dealt with by (a nominated person) who will contact you when the system has been restored There is no further communication and visits to the EAAB offices take the matter no further as the documents must first be downloaded and this can not happen until the system is operational.

    In the meantime, the agency is not issued with a certificate notwithstanding that the annual licence fees have been paid and the audit report was filed in June each year.

  • Crista Bennett
    Reply

    At long last!

  • LEONARD GEFFEN
    Reply

    Just another gang of ‘thieves’ exposed. I have been informed by them that our annual payment of R2000 towards CPD amounting to R90 million “goes towards salaries”. I REST MY CASE!!!

  • John Wilson
    Reply

    Thank you to all involved in persuing this matter, much appreciated

  • Charles
    Reply

    Thank you .

  • ADINDA OOSTHUIZEN
    Reply

    Congratulations to the Board of Rebosa!!

  • Hans Snyman
    Reply

    All monies should be paid to Rebosa and kept in trust till EAAB gets their house in order.

  • Chris
    Reply

    “The EAAB is yet to comment”
    They are speechless because they were summoned to actually do some work for a change and not hide behind worthless messages and non-performance.
    Please REBOSA see to it that they do not miss the deadlines.
    And thank you for bringing this matter in the open! Well done.

  • Greg
    Reply

    Well done Rebosa and the judge. Lets hope this shakes them up (the EAAB), so that they start dealing with our concerns and taking us seriously (the agents).

  • Jeanette Hay
    Reply

    Thank you Rebosa!

  • Magda Stoffberg
    Reply

    Well done!!

  • Gavin
    Reply

    Well done Jan, the team and the judge,justice must prevail.
    Looking forwardto the outcome of the audit, hopefully the
    incompetent overpaid staff can be replaced, and we can expect
    quality service and training for the millions extorted from the industry

  • Meryl Muller
    Reply

    Added to the non-issuing of FFC’s timeously, is the frustration of trying to get through to the EAAB, telephonically. It is understandable given the number of calls that go through to the Board, daily. However, if their email system worked and the mailboxes, mentioned on the Board’s website, were manned by suitably qualified persons to answer queries and follow-up on outstanding matters sent to the Board, this would go a long way to improving their service delivery. After 37 years in the industry, one lives in hope!!

  • Erica Solomon
    Reply

    Well done Rebosa.
    How do we get the EAAB to understand that the CPD for 2020 was paid but they are insisting that we still need to pay this year despite having no lectures or online work given to us.
    Can’t wait till they are audited. Also no dates given out for this years CPD.

  • MOEGAMAT ISMAIL
    Reply

    Well done REBOSA and the Judge.

  • Roshan
    Reply

    Well done Rebosa.

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