Property Practitioners Bill [B21B-2018]

Call for comments opened 24 January 2019 Share this page:

Submissions are now closed (since 15 February 2019)

NCOP Social Services

The Select Committee on Social Services invites you to submit written comments on the Property Practitioners Bill.

The Bill seeks to:
▪ provide for the regulation of property practitioners;
▪ provide for the continuation of the Estate Agency Affairs Board as the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority;
▪ provide for the appointment of the members of the Board and matters incidental thereto;
▪ provide for the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer and other staff members of the Authority;
▪ provide for transformation of the property practitioners sector;
▪ provide for the establishment of the transformation fund and establishment of the research centre on transformation;
▪ provide for compliance with and enforcement of the provisions of the Act;
▪ provide for the continuation of the Estate Agents Fidelity Fund as the Property Practitioners Fidelity Fund;
▪ provide for consumer protection; to provide for the repeal of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 1976.

Written presentation must be received by no later than 12:00 on Friday 15 February 2019.

Comments can be emailed to Ms Marcelle Williams at mawilliams@parliament.gov.za by no later than 12:00 on Friday 15 February

Enquiries can be directed to Ms Marcelle Williams on tel (021) 403 3799 or cell 083 709 8451

Issued by MP Dlamini, Ms LC, Chairperson: Select Committee on Social Services.

Background
The object of the Property Practitioners Bill, 2018 (‘‘the Bill’’), is to repeal the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 1976 (Act No. 112 of 1996) (‘‘the Act’’), which was meant to provide for the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the Estate Agency Fidelity Fund and for the control of certain activities of estate agents in the public interest. The Act is outdated (40 years old) and does not assist government to achieve the outcome of improving the functioning of the property market which includes regulating the buying, selling and renting of land and buildings. Furthermore, the Act in its current form does not assist to meet the needs of the South African communities and also does not accommodate the dynamic needs of the real estate industry. The South African total property value is estimated at six trillion and is significantly slow in terms of addressing transformation, especially encouraging the participation of the youth and the previously disadvantaged. The Act and its existing institutional arrangements has failed to bring an increase in the total number of industry participants especially in the previously disadvantaged groups, and has failed to provide mechanisms of aligning it with the South African demographic profile. In 2013 statistics, black estate agents constituted a mere eight per cent of the industry and the average age of an estate agent was estimated at about 57 years. The legislation continues to perpetuate exclusion of some people in other areas, promote weak monitoring of estate agency matters, encourage rampant embezzlement of clients’ funds and fails to provide mechanisms for monitoring the continuous mushrooming of unregistered estate agents, and therefore contributing negatively to the functional property market. The Bill seeks to establish a Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, provide for the appointment of the Board of the Regulatory Authority, and provides for other matters connected therewith. It seeks to put in place better monitoring mechanisms as compared to the current section 32A of the Act which provide inspectors with wide powers of search and seizure on premises without proper authority. The Bill now requires that inspectors obtain a warrant to enter premises. The issue of section 32A has been a bone of contention and escalated to the Constitutional Court, e.g. the judgment of Auction Alliance vs EAAB. The real estate matters were previously dealt with by the Department of Trade and Industry until Cabinet took a decision to transfer the Estate Agency Affairs Board and its enabling legislation to the national Department of Human Settlements, in October 2010. The process of crafting this legislation dates back to 2013 when it was consulted extensively, tabled at the FOSAD and Social Protection, Community and Human Development (SPCHD) Cabinet Committee. Cabinet had approved that the Bill be published for public comment during November 2013, subject to insertion of certain elements such as ensuring that it is aligned with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act.