As we enter the 14th day of the lockdown, I trust that you are keeping safe and productive.
Many of you have written to us to enquire about financial relief or easing the debt burden for estate agents. We are just as concerned about the devastating impact Covid-19 and the lockdown will have on the sector. We are currently in communication with the EAAB and government to find sustainable solutions to safeguard the industry and protect the livelihoods of estate agents. Some of these interventions are outlined in the report below.
We have also been collaborating with industry service providers to pursue offers for our members and we are pleased to announce the first of these by Chartall Business College. The details are below.
As mentioned in our previous report, Rebosa remains open for business ‘unusual’ and we invite you to continue sharing your concerns and requests with us.
Our combined imperative must be the national priority to stay indoors and “flatten the curve”.
I wish you and your families well as we approach week 3 of the lockdown.
Our hearts go out to those who have zero income and absolutely no reserves to fall back on.
Measures to Assist the South African Real Estate Sector
Rebosa together with other industry bodies are currently lobbying government to provide measures to safeguard the industry and provide relief for estate agents during the lockdown.
We have requested that a skeleton staff be provided at both the Deeds Office and City Councils to ensure that properties can continue being registered and clearance certificates issued for the duration of the lockdown.
We are dealing directly with Minister Patel and his office and are waiting for their imminent response.
By accessing the link below, you will find a summary of stimulus and debt relief packages for those affected by Covid-19 which was compiled by Schindlers Attorneys. This is most comprehensive list we could find. Unfortunately no packages have been identified for individual “commission only” earners.
We will keep you updated on these developments as they unfold.
CPD Payment Deadline Extended
The EAAB responded in part to Rebosa’s request for CPD relief for agents in a statement released on 26 March 2020, which can be found on www.eaab.org.za
The EAAB have confirmed that the payment deadline for CPD fees has been extended to 31 May 2020. They unfortunately did not agree to a reduction of the fee.
As banks, business and government rallied together to provide payment holidays, tax subsidies and debt relief funds to cushion the economy, its been disappointing that the EAAB could not follow these examples by waiving or discounting the CPD fee.
Request re Late Audit Report Submissions
We have appealed to the CEO of EAAB to announce some latitude in respect of late submission of audit reports due to the lockdown. Whilst the Act does not allow for an extension or late submission of an audit report, the EAAB have the power to determine the timing of prosecution and scope of the penalty. As such we have requested that the penalties be waived until end August. Ms Mohlala and the board are giving this request consideration and we will notify you of their decision.
Professional Indemnity Cover
It has been brought to our attention that the EAAB may not have renewed the Professional Indemnity Insurance which was in place for the benefit of agents (see below) with their underwriters for 2020. This is a huge concern for the industry especially during these uncertain times. We first wrote to the EAAB Chairperson on 10 March 2020, seeking clarity on the matter. The CEO responded a few days ago “I confirm we are working on this matter and will respond soon”, which is neither a confirmation nor a denial.
We would have thought it prudent for the Board to announce such a crucial undertaking and we will notify you as soon as we get clarification.
Rebosa Negotiates Reduced NQF4/5 Training Fees
REBOSA has teamed up with Chartall Business College to offer reduced training fees for intern agents, unqualified agents and aspiring principal agents.
The details of the offer for the FETC: Real Estate (NQF 4) are:
Enrolment fee: R500 – this will get you onto the Chartall Learning Management System (LMS), with telephonic support to assist if necessary.
R500 subscription per month for the duration of your studies. By taking advantage of this lockdown period, you can really get stuck into the videos and e-learning content designed to teach you all you need to know to successfully complete your assignments and become a qualified agent.
When you submit your portfolio of evidence you will pay an assessment fee of R4 000 minus any amount you have already paid during your studies.
The details of the offer for the NC: Real Estate (NQF 5) are:
Enrolment fee: R600 – this will get you onto the Chartall Learning Management System (LMS), with telephonic support to assist if necessary.
R600 subscription per month for the duration of your studies. (By taking advantage of this lockdown period, you can really get stuck into the videos and e-learning content designed to teach you all you need to know to successfully complete your assignments and become a qualified agent.)
When you submit your portfolio of evidence you will pay an assessment fee of R4 800 minus any amount you have already paid during your studies.
To register for this incredible offer simply go to https://chartallcampus.com/course-category/real-estate and select the qualification you want to complete and follow the prompts.
Every SA Website must Promote the Government Portal on Covid-19
Effective Thursday 26 March 2020, every website with a domain name that ends in .za – including every company website that uses the .co.za suffix, every organisation in .org.za, and every academic institution in .ac.za – must link to the South African government’s Covid-19 portal at www.sacoronavirus.co.za
That link must be “visible”, and must be on the front page of the website, according to regulations gazetted by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.