“From an industry perspective we are very glad that this has at long last happened as the existing Estate Agency Affairs Act dates from 1977 and is totally out of date in today’s economy. The Act has been amended a number of times but a total overhaul was undoubtedly overdue”, says Jan le Roux Chief Executive of REBOSA (Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa).
The Minister has said that the new Bill; “is part of Government’s response to the changing market conditions and it seeks to create an enabling environment to enhance economic activity within the real estate sector. It will also help open up market opportunities for new entrants into the real estate sector especially black people who were previously disadvantaged”.
Le Roux indicates that REBOSA is still studying the newly released bill, but sincerely hope that the above statement will realise, as the company believes that current legislation and regulations create barriers, not gateways; actually inhibiting the entry of new agents into the industry – the majority of whom, based on SA’s economic demographics are from previously disadvantaged communities.
The first mention of a Property Practitioners Bill was made in 2013/2014 and it is a pity that it took so long to come to fruition, and that stakeholders are now being put under pressure to comment within 30 days, which due to the number of public holidays amounts to 18 working days.
This is impractical in view of the amount of work involved”, believes le Roux, “The Minister is also communicating conflicting messages in saying that comments have to be submitted by the end of April, but then stating that she’ll be engaging stakeholders to get their input during a national roadshow in May. We urge her to clarify the process for participation in this industry-critical matter”.
He continues to say that the industry has long asked for insight as to what amendments the bill would contain so as to prepare for its eventual publication. Unfortunately no information was shared and as such the industry is left with very little time to familiarise itself with the content.
“While we will of course do our utmost to meet the 30 day deadline, we trust that the Minister will extend this time period should it become necessary – so as to ensure adequate participation in a bill that will govern the industry for decades to come”, says le Roux.