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The PDE merry-go-round

After the recent PDE exam debacle, one could be forgiven for assuming that the PPRA would bend over backwards to ensure that the rewrite scheduled to take place on the 30th of November was a success. Regrettably the second try was even more chaotic than the first.

The trouble started with the very late confirmation of the examination venues. The final list was sent at 17:45 the night before, citing the  several venues nationwide.

Booked but not confirmed

It soon became apparent that venues had not received confirmation of payment and were advising agents that the venues were not booked.  Coupled with this the Cape Town venue at Van Deventers Incorporated could only accommodate 40 seats.  The demand far exceeded this number with hundreds of agents expecting to write.

Wouter van Schalkwyk, Leapfrog Property says, “When you call the PPRA they are not any help at all. We don’t know what’s going on anymore. Even the Cape Town attorneys Grevensteyns denied any knowledge of the exam as per the Property Practitioners Group”.

Candidate practitioners in Kimberly fared even worse with some having driven 350km only to find out that that venue had been removed and they now needed to drive to Bloemfontein.

“I just spoke to the Cedarwoods of Sandton and was told they have received hundreds of calls and that no venue has been paid for or confirmed for the 30th of November 2022?” explained Michael M Smit from Reynolds Estates. Agents travelling from Richards Bay and surrounds upon arriving at the Royal hotel the night before, were told the hotel had not received proof of payment for the venue and were unsure if the exam would go ahead.

Ready to write, but there’s no test

In many areas the lucky few agents who did arrive at a prepared venue, faced challenges ranging from issues exam registration, too few seats available, to having no examination papers on site or receiving examination papers with missing pages. Many agents reported the absence of a PPRA representative at the venue and calls to the Authority did little to resolve these issues.  One exam centre started late as they had to wait for an invigilator.

For the second time in the space of one month, candidate practitioners took time out of their schedules, often driving long distances and having to pay for accommodation, to write their PDE exams. For the second time, candidate practitioners were left in a state of flux while the PPRA tried to get its house in order.

Although the deadline for compliance has been extended to 30 June 2023 and another exam is scheduled for February, this means even more candidates will need to try to write their exams during that session – many for the third time!

It remains a concern that the same Education and Training Department must now organise another, bigger exam for more people”, says Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa, “The PPRA Education Department continues to treat exam candidates with a total lack of regard.”

The PPRA did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publishing.

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