The PPRA (Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority) has instructed all candidate estate agents who have been registered for more than two years, to obtain required qualifications before January 31 2023, or be de-registered. The Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa (Rebosa) explains that this means that, at present, this would mean that more than twenty thousand agents will no longer be able to practise and earn a living, should they not comply timeously.
This places the PPRA in a quandary, as these agents cannot possibly qualify in the time made available in terms of qualification standard set by the PPRA itself; the NQF 4 qualification takes over a year to complete at a cost of R10 000, which is then followed by writing the PDE4 exam.
The PPRA has to apply the regulations which clearly state that agents can only hold the status of candidate for 180 days, which implies that the PPRA is already in default in applying the new law.
“De-registering these agents will be devastating to many households and would really be an insult to the President’s ongoing efforts to promote job creation, allowing them to continue practising is illegal” said Jan le Roux, Chief Executive of Rebosa.
Not de-registering these candidates is equally problematic as the PPRA‘s main objective is the protection of consumers, he said.
Consumers must ensure the status of agents they are dealing with as candidates may only practise under supervision and are obliged to divulge their status to clients.
“It appears that some of these candidates have been trading under these illegal circumstances, some for up to twelve years. This is clearly a problem inherited by the PPRA from the previous Estate Agencies Affairs Board (EAAB), but it is incumbent on the PPRA to address it,” Le Roux said.
The PPRA as the professional body of the industry can change the qualification standards and put something in place that would allow those who are willing to put in the effort to study for a required exam and pass it before the deadline, Le Roux said.
“In this manner most candidates can qualify, prove that they have the required know-how and remain registered. The new regulations provide for a practical training course which will ensure that these candidates get the necessary practical experience. The industry has made several proposals to that effect which align with the provisions of the regulations. It is up to the PPRA to immediately take decisive action which it alone has the authority to do to solve this problem,” he said.
The PPRA is facing a wave of problems. CEO Mamodupi Mohlala has been suspended for numerous reasons, including disregarding the appropriate supply chain management processes when she procured an application which was supposed to help estate agents adhere to national real estate agent regulations.