On Friday 3 March 2022, a delegation of valuation industry members made up of the South African Council for the Property Valuers Profession (SACPVP) Acting Registrar Roshinee Naidoo, South African Institute of Valuers (SAIV) President Malusi Mthuli, Industry Members and Professional Valuers Quintus Neethling and Lourens Nel, met with the PPRA’s Acting COO, Deli Nkambule, CEO, Thato Ramaili, as well Compliance Executive, Advocate Debra Vial.
On the agenda for discussion was a matter affecting valuers for some time – property practitioners undertaking and offering free valuations in South Africa. There is an ongoing practice by property practitioners purporting to have the competence and experience to conduct property valuations, which they are not qualified to do. Valuers must undergo years of education and training before they qualify as professionals, which property professionals undermine when they offer free valuations.
Section 19 (1) of the Property Valuers Profession Act 47 of 2000 states the categories of registration of property valuers within South Africa; namely Professional Valuer, Professional Associated Valuer, Candidate valuer or specified categories as (sic) prescribed by the Council. The Act further states in Section 19 (2) that a person may not practise in any of the categories contemplated in subsection (1) unless he or she is registered in that category.
The definition of a Property Practitioner has been outlined in the Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019 and does not include the functions performed by a Property Valuer, viz, a professional who has been educated and trained to determine the value of fixed property, execute feasibility studies and provide expert advice on property-related matters.
Valuers understand and can correctly employ the recognised methods and techniques that are necessary to produce credible valuations. Therefore, valuations must only be done by registered professional valuers; property practitioners who are not qualified valuers should not be using the term ‘valuations’.
The PPRA has an obligation to educate its members and a responsibility to protect the members of the public. The valuation industry members appealed to the PPRA to address the matter with their registered practitioners.
In response to the complaint, the PPRA committee acknowledged that they are aware of the rise in the unethical behaviour of their registered persons offering free valuations, and informed the delegation of the complaint process to be followed to report property professionals who advertise valuation work without being qualified to do so. The Acting COO mentioned that section 126.96.36.199 of the Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019, states that no estate agent shall claim to be an expert, or to have specialised knowledge in respect of any service, if, in fact, he is not such an expert or does not have such special knowledge. Therefore, property practitioners advertising valuations without the proper qualification infringe on the Act and the code of conduct.
The PPRA committed to working with the valuation industry in addressing the matter with property practitioners, starting with consumer awareness, which will be a collaborative effort by both professions. A memorandum will be sent to all registered practitioners by the PPRA informing property practitioners to take down any advertisements relating to valuations, followed by an awareness drive through their CPD programmes, to ensure ongoing education and compliance. Overall, the concerns raised were well-received by the PPRA.
The meeting was certainly overdue and very much welcomed. It was not the first-time organisations within the valuation profession sought to consult with the PPRA. The SACPVP Registrar, who has since retired, made repeated attempts to get the EAAB board to advise their registered agents to cease offering free valuations, without much success.
The Institute made numerous attempts to meet with the authority, but the previous CEO was suspended the day before the meeting occurred.
We look forward to more productive engagements and collaboration opportunities with the PPRA to ensure that there is traction on the matters that were discussed.
We’ll also be having similar discussions with organisations such as the Master of the High Court and the South African Revenue Service.