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Michael Bagraim | 13 May 2024

Michael Bagraim writes that the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority wants to pressure the property industry into bending over backwards to ensure Broad-based BEE requirements.

The Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) seems to be hell-bent on destroying real estate agencies in South Africa.

The regulatory authority wants to pressure the property industry into bending over backwards to ensure Broad-based BEE requirements.

This will be the wholesale destruction of the entire industry. We must understand that all real estate agencies have to apply for a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC). The certificates enable estate agents to practise their trade and profession in South Africa. Without the certificate, the business is illegal and will be closed.

What is now happening is that our over-restrictive negative government is trying to look like it is doing something to improve the employability of black South Africans. The reality is that the further restrictions on an industry that is under pressure will lead to the wholesale closure of most small real estate agencies.

We have about 6 000 real estate agents who would have to close shop or practise illegally. Without a valid BEE certificate in the future, the agencies won’t be granted their FFC. The harsh regulatory labour legal environment, which has stifled businesses for almost 30 years, is becoming more pernicious.

The real estate agents are invariable small businesses that have employed many who want the benefit of being able to work in a non-restricted environment. We are told by economists worldwide that small businesses are the engine room of job creation in most countries.

Big businesses are shrinking in that they are able to mechanise, computerise and outsource. It is small businesses that open the portal for the unemployed to enter the labour market. The move is counter-productive. The pernicious and extremely vile regulations will make the situation worse for the entire property industry.

The move has to be considered even more ludicrous when we see that the Department of Employment and Labour is about to endorse and issue regulations for the Employment Equity Act Amendments.

The regulations have proposed that any business employing fewer than 50 employees will have an automatic right to be given a BEE certificate. In other words, the government has recognised that the BEE certification requirements are a handbrake to job creation.

It makes no sense to have the proposed regulations attached to the Employment Equity Legislation and, on the same hand, take it away from small businesses by enacting the proposal of the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority.

The mind boggles at why the government is hellbent on destroying another industry in South Africa.

In the past 30 years, we’ve seen an ANC government systematically destroying almost every industry in our economy. We’ve seen this with the mining industry, clothing manufacturers, farming and even the metal industry. The negative and destructive reach of an ANC government has strangled productivity in South Africa.

The only way forward is to remove the ANC-led administration as soon as possible. The move, proposed by the PPRA and underpinned by the ANC, will ensure that the most businesses in the property practitioner industry will become non-compliant and eventually close. When the businesses stop trading, we will see thousands more South Africans in the unemployment queues.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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