Minister’s decision welcomed

The decision by the Human Settlements Minister, Tokyo Sexwale to overhaul the EAAB is welcome news for the industry and public, says Seeff Chairman, Samuel Seeff. The industry touches every citizen and a strong, effective and efficient governing body is critical to the stability of the industry.

Leadership changes, lack of service delivery and of purpose and direction are just some of the issues that have plagued the board, he says. As a stakeholder, we along with other industry professionals are delighted with this intervention and are committed to working with REBOSA to finding solutions for our industry including a strong functioning EAAB.

We hope that this intervention will include a turnaround strategy that would revamp the EAAB in terms of a clear mandate, leadership structure (from the Chairman to the CEO, board and operational staff), and importantly service delivery to the industry and public. This should also be communicated to the industry and public so that there is clarity on the way forward.

Priorities that we would like to see include:

  • skilled and experienced executive leadership and board supported by suitably experienced and qualified government officials. Industry stakeholders (estate agents, brokers, bankers, attorneys and conveyancers) should play a fundamental role.

  • A clear and decisive mandate, including:

  1. the issue and control of fidelity fund certificates
  2. competency of individuals to practise and dealing effectively with non-compliant operators
  3. certification - from examination through to practical experience, learnerships, bursaries etc. Does this fall within the ambit of the board or does this rest solely with the Services SETA?
  4. protecting the public interest in dealing with the industry and acting as a link with the public, industry and government
  5. clarity on what legislation governs the industry. For example, in terms of the new companies act small businesses no longer need audited financials, yet a new EAAB directive requires this. It makes no sense for an industry with many small operators for whom it is onerous and expensive; it may be necessary, but conflicts with the companies act
  6. clarity on the Property Transformation Charter - it is not a legislative requirement, yet there is the threat of withholding of fidelity fund certificates if you do not meet the requirements

  • A closer working relationship with REBOSA and engaging effectively with the industry.
  • An efficient call centre and an effective clearing system for the timeous issue of fidelity fund certificates.
  • A legal and control team who, when advised of malpractice can take decisive action.

We see an opportunity here for the minister to reposition the board with the right people and a clear mandate that can bring about clarity and stability and send the right message to the industry and the public.
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