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New PPRA battles with EAAB legacy

MAIM IMAGE: Jan le Roux, Rebosa CO; Tania Zeelie, National Franchise Compliance Operator of Just Property; Hilda Reynard, CEO Reynard Agencies

Danie Keet

The new PP Act which came into effect in February this year paved the way for a new dispensation in the industry, but indications are that the legacy left by an inept EAAB is a major cause for concern for the new Board and Practioners who now must abide by the new Act and its Regulations.

“It is undoubtedly true that the old EAAB, its Board and Executive Team, did not take the necessary steps for the implementation of the PP Act timeously. This has left the new PPRA board and the new CEO with a tough challenge,” Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa said.

Tania Zeelie, National Franchise Compliance Operator of Just Property, stated: “The PPRA should have first gotten their own house in order before the Act had taken effect. They should also have given themselves 12 months to phase in certain sections bit by bit. Not everything at once without any new systems in place, no new procedures and then, after the effective date, request the industry for comment on auditing procedures and licensing procedures. This should have been done before the inception date and not after. And to top it all off they found themselves still being able to register new agents on 1 April as promised. “

Many Property Practitioners commented that they are experiencing  the same difficulties at present as those experienced under the old EAAB.

An example – Hilda Reynard, CEO of Reynard Agencies, Sectional Title and Managing Agents, said she is experiencing endless problems to confirm that she is registered for the examinations.

“Over 15 emails have been sent to the EAAB since registration opened for the 19 May  PDE exam. Technical glitches, again, extended the registration date and allowed us to mail our registration forms.

“I have sent email after email every second or third day to confirm I am registered, and I received my exam registration confirmation today, 11 May 2022,  for the exam on 6 May? The exam is scheduled for 19 May and 6 May being the last day for registration for the 19 May exam.

“They force us to get these exams done before June, threaten us with our Fidelity Fund Certificates, ……do I study or not and do I risk my FFC until August, the next exam date, prolonging the study and work stress even longer?

“My options are exhausted, and I just don’t know what more to do,” she said.

Because of technical challenges, FFCs could not be issued since 1 February. As an emergency measure, the PPRA is allowing agents to automatically apply for exemption from having to have FFCs. The normal registration procedures have to be followed and the fees paid as the FFCs will be issued later when possible.

Sadly, due to the inefficient prior regime, it is not easy to access the portal to launch such an application nor is the accounting process in place should the wrong fees have been paid as it is currently demanded on the portal.

The PPRA can limit the damage left by the EAAB and remedy the situation.

Le Roux suggests:

  • The previous higher fees  are charged for CPD – which industry believes is incorrect – but CPD is also not accessible. This is hard to understand as the new requirement is that agents do 4 courses per year without repeating any over a three-year cycle. All the current courses could be made available for exactly this purpose and no  immediate relaunch is required.
  • It was announced last year that all interns having exceeded the two-year internship, had to qualify before 30 June this year. This will affect most of the existing approximately 23,000 interns. Partly because of the Service Seta and the insistence of the PPRA, against all odds, that NQF 4 is still a requirement, this cannot be achieved. Should this deadline not be extended it might cause the deregistration of more than 10,000 practising property practitioners. This is clearly not a solution and this deadline needs to be extended.
  • It is clear beyond any doubt that all the old regulations have been nullified on 1 February and NQF 4 is no longer a requirement. A Practice Note from the PPRA confirming this will bring huge uncertainty to an end.
  • Although the requirements to be exempt from not having to have trust accounts are clear in the regulations, it would once again be practical if a practice note could cover all angles to prevent mishaps and misunderstandings later. Many Practitioners want to start the process to close dormant accounts.
  • The PP Act extended the compulsory audit report period from 4 to 6 months. The current conflicting communications from the PPRA is not helpful. It is an interpretation issue and the PPRA will do itself a favour to simply allow all audit reports due after 1 February a  6 month grace.

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