29 June 2020
EAAB WAIVERS PENALTIES FOR LATE AUDIT SUBMISSIONS
JOHANNESBURG – The Estate Agency Affairs Board will not penalise estate agents who submit late audit records for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Audit reports are due annually by June 30, but the board is cognisant that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown several agents have not been able to complete this process.
According to section 29(1)(b), 32(3)(b) and 32(4) of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, the audit of the business accounting records and the trust accounting records shall be performed and finalised and the auditor’s report on the trust accounting records submitted to the EAAB within a period of four months after the financial year end of the estate agent.
As a result of the far reaching consequences of the lockdown on the industry, the board has agreed not to impose penalties for late submissions.
EAAB CEO Ms. Mamodupi Mohlala said she was mindful of the challenges the industry was facing due to the lockdown and wanted to assure stakeholders that the regulator was working around the clock to find lasting solutions.
In May the EAAB made detailed submissions to the Department of Human Settlements on a raft of possible Covid-19 relief measures which included the issues of extension of deadlines for audit reports and the deferment of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) fees.
The EAAB is awaiting a response from the department on these and other issues and will communicate the outcome as soon as it is received.
The Board would like to acknowledge and thank all those who submitted their audit reports under the trying conditions.
Issued on behalf of EAAB CEO Ms. Mamodupi Mohlala
For more information contact
Estate Agency Affairs Board Bulletin
25 June 2020
BACK TO THE GRIND FOR THE PROPERTY INDUSTRY
Thousands of estate agents returned to work on June 1 under alert level 3 of the COVID-19 regulations. This will undoubtedly bring some relief for the sector which came to a virtual standstill when the national lockdown was announced in March.
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) recently released guidelines to assist employers, employees and the public on how to conduct business safely during the pandemic and how to help prevent and curb the spread of the Coronavirus. We appeal to everyone to adhere to the guidelines to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
22 June 2020
EAAB TO RE-OPEN ON 1 JULY 2020
JOHANNESBURG – The Estate Agency Affairs Board regrettably have to inform its stakeholders and the public that it has had to postpone the re-opening of its offices by a week.
Initially scheduled to re-open on June 23, the offices will now open on Wednesday 1 July 2020.
The delay is as a result of the high demand nationally for services to ensure that the organization is compliant with all Covid-19 regulations to safeguard the health and safety of its employees and the public. The services include, but it’s not limited to, sanitation and deep cleaning and training of staff on Covid-19 protocols and Covid-19 awareness signage.
Service providers have been appointed and are attending to all the requirements. The EAAB undertakes to act responsibly and do its part in preventing further spread of the virus. A phased-in approach has been adopted for essential staff to return to work.
We are mindful that this may cause some inconvenience to some, but we want to ensure stakeholders that we have dedicated teams working remotely who can be contacted for continued service delivery. Contact details can be found on www.eaab.org.za
Members of the public are encouraged to continue using electronic means to contact the EAAB where possible.
For further Covid-19 related enquires contact: Covid-19 Compliance Officer Mr. Oscar Mangole at email@example.com.
14 June 2020
ESTATE AGENTS PROVIDED WITH GUIDELINES ON HOW TO CONDUCT BUSINESS DURING COVID-19
Physical viewings of no more than two people should only be done when a buyer or tenant has expressed definitive interest in a particular property and it should be kept brief and in line with COVID-19 health regulations.
These and other guidelines are contained in a document designed by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) which aims to assist employers, employees and the public on how to conduct business safely during the pandemic and help prevent and curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
EAAB CEO Ms Mamodupi Mohlala said the guidelines are important tools to ensure that industry and the public know how to say alert, contain the virus and save lives while observing the requirements to carry out their duties.
The guidelines are designed in line with various legislative instruments including the Disaster Management Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, COVID-19 regulations and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
It details risk management and risk mitigations processes, prevention and control protocols, setting up a COVID-19 response team, protocols on identification of infected individuals and confidentiality requirements. It further gives guidance on how to conduct meetings, fulfil contractual obligations and how to deal with issues of compliance.
Central to the guidelines is ensuring the health and safety of all along the value chain, including observing social distancing and good hygiene, wearing personal protective gear at all times, regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and offices. It also details the protocols to follow when dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, the reporting lines and how to assist staff when they test positive and preserve confidential health issues of individuals.
Another key guideline for estate agencies is the appointment of a designated COVID-19 compliance officer to ensure compliance with policies and procedures, education and training of employees and to facilitate the implementation and management of processes put in place the spread of infections.
Regarding interactions with clients, the guidelines include the following:
The guidelines will be updated regularly in line with any legislative changes.
The complete document is available on the EAAB’s website (www.eaab.org.za) and will be emailed to all stakeholders on the regulator’s database.
For further Covid-19 related enquires contact: Covid-19 Compliance Officer Oscar Mangole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries contact: Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist Chandré Prince at email@example.com
IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION - 11 June 2020
11 June 2020
EAAB OFFICES TO RE-OPEN TO ENSURE CONTINUED SERVICE DELIVERY
JOHANNESBURG – The Estate Agency Affairs Board will re-open its Sandton, Johannesburg offices toward the end of June following the Covid-19 national lockdown.
The regulator will adopt a phased-in approach from 23 June 2020 when essential staff will return to the office to ensure continued service delivery to its stakeholders.
Throughout lockdown, the EAAB however ensured that core staff members were appropriately equipped to work remotely and service its stakeholders.
The EAAB CEO Ms. Mamodupi Mohlala said the phased return will be undertaken in line with government regulations using prescripts of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in governing workplaces in relation to the virus. Stringent workplace protocols have been put in place, including special health and safety requirements and the appointment of a dedicated Covid-19 workplace readiness task team and a Covid-19 compliance officer.
“We are entering a new normal that will continue for some time. We are however committed to the health of our employees and the safety of stakeholders and the public and will endeavor to put all necessary precautions in place as we continue to offer our mandatory services,” said Ms. Mohlala.
In addition to strict rules around social distancing, daily self-screening, cleanliness and hygiene routine, Ms. Mohlala said all employees and security personnel will receive training to ensure full compliance with all legislative prescripts.
The EAAB has procured specialized services to disinfect and sanitize the offices, provide training services and supply personal protective equipment (PPE). Other control measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 will include using technology to promote social distancing (virtual meetings), cancelling all group events and limiting shared spaces. Information of policies and practices will be communicated to employees and industry stakeholders on a regular basis.
The Department of Employment and Labour and the union will be invited to do workplace readiness inspections prior to the planned opening on 23 June to ensure compliance with all relevant Covid-19 regulations.
Members of the public are encouraged to continue using electronic means to contact the EAAB (details and email addresses on www.eaab.org.za) where possible.
For further Covid-19 related enquires contact: Covid-19 Compliance Officer Mr. Oscar Mangole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION - 31 May 2020
THE EAAB’S COMMITMENT TO CONTINUED SERVICE DELIVERY
South Africa's Covid-19 Command Council (CCC) briefing on Thursday, 28 May detailed the final Level 3 Alert Level Regulations giving most of the country's workforce the green light to start operating fully.
The Covid-19 Regulations do not expressly make it mandatory for the EAAB to open its offices however the EAAB is putting measures in place to ready itself for preparing for some EAAB employees to resume duty at the EAAB offices in order to continue with service delivery. Some of such measures include implementation of the proper health and safety protocols, the appointment of a Covid-19 Compliance Officer, and setting up a Safety Plan to be inspected as needed, as detailed by the CCC.
Government is still advising that extreme caution be taken, especially in the country's hotspots, and that health imperatives such as social distancing and the compulsory need for screening and wearing of masks continues to be strictly followed.
During the month of April and May, the EAAB made a concerted effort to equip identified employees to be able to work remotely to provide service to its stakeholders. This will continue however, to further assist it is the intention of the EAAB to be able to allow some employees to return to the office on 08 June 2020 and others will continue to work remotely.
With real estate agencies and Property Practitioners being a vital link in the value chain of the property sector and valued stakeholders of the Estate Agency Affairs Board, the organisation intends making every effort during the first week of June to ensure adherence to strict health and safety protocols, and will ensure that the necessary measures are in place in the office based in Sandton, Johannesburg.
In order to do this, during the first week of June a Covid-19 Compliance Officer and Special Task Team have been assigned to ensure that in line with the new regulations that stipulate that businesses adhere to strict health and safety requirements, the EAAB will be putting all the necessary arrangements in place for the safety of both its internal and external stakeholders.
In addition to the Covid-19 Compliance Officer, two separate Task Teams have also been appointed to assist in the preparedness of the EAAB premises for the eventual full office operations and reopening to stakeholders namely a Covid-19 Building Readiness Task Team and a Covid-19 Policy Review Task Team.
IT IS TO BE NOTED – that the EAAB will not at this stage be opening its doors to the public or Property Practitioners on 08 June however, communications will be sent out and placed on the EAAB website advising the official date for reopening its doors.
The EAAB would like to take this opportunity of assuring its stakeholders of their commitment to assist industry in continuing its service deliverables both with the intended skeleton staff that will be working possibly on a temporary rotation basis, as well as the continuation of employees working remotely.
The EAAB’s outsourced Call Centre has for the month of May been able to receive calls and assist stakeholders across the provinces, and it is most pleasing to report that over 4,000 Property Practitioners have already been in contact with the EAAB and their queries have been receiving attention. This service albeit that for the time being will continue to operate remotely, stakeholders are welcome to call on 087 285 3222.
The regulator has made provisions for a core team of employees to work remotely to continue to offer the following services.
A more comprehensive plan will be provided on Thursday, 04 June to all stakeholders. This will be placed on the EAAB’s website and sent via our bulk email platform.
For further information: EAAB Covid-19 Compliance Officer: Mr Oscar Mangole Oscar.email@example.com
Issued: EAAB Management
Date: 29 May 2020