New board of governors for Estate Agency Affairs Board

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Johannesburg – Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale on Thursday announced 15 new governors for the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).

The appointment of the new members followed the decision taken by Sexwale to dissolve the old board, following a series of events with negative consequences that unfolded around the EAAB.

The new board includes five members form the estate agency industry; five from civil society, representing consumer interests and five from related professions and institutions such as the legal profession, financial institutions, property owners and developers.

Established in 1976, in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, the EAAB has the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest, and for incidental matters.

The EAAB regulates the estate agency profession by ensuring that all persons carrying out the activities of an estate agent as a service to the public are registered with the EAAB.

A fidelity fund certificate, which is to be renewed each year, is issued as evidence of registration and confirmation that the individual is legally entitled to carry out the activities of an estate agent.

Following a Presidential Proclamation, it is now no longer governed under the Department of Trade and Industry but Human Settlements.

In 2012, Sexwale appointed an administrator for the EAAB, Taswell Papier, who was tasked with, among others, restoring stability, regularising the EAAB and facilitating as well as implementing good corporate governance processes within the agency.

Under the current Estate Agency Affairs Act, at the first meeting of the board, members would choose their own chairperson and initiate a process of identifying a new CEO, whose duties would be to provide leadership within the executive and staff.

Sexwale encouraged the new board to communicate, exchange, be transparent, adding that by so doing, people would understand their work.

“One of the reasons [the old] board failed was that one of the things they were not doing was communicating. People didn’t know what the board was doing. They hardly had meetings,” said the minister.

He urged the board to look at issues of transformation in the real estate industry.

“Of the 4 000 realty agencies in South Africa, five percent are owned by black people… There is a need to fast-track transformation.”

Sexwale further challenged them to fight to end corruption in the estate agency industry.

“There will be no tolerance in respect of corruption - watch it carefully,” he said, stressing the importance of integrity amongst the board members.

Papier said these objectives could not be achieved were it not for Sexwale’s decisive intervention.

“The constructive engagement enjoyed from the department was phenomenal in this process and it has achieved a lot,” Papier said.

He said the EAAB has appointed a new IT service provider. It has also established close cooperative relationships with the attorney’s fidelity fund managing R3.5 billion, and will also share lessons and experiences with them.

Papier said the new EAAB was focusing on realigning its strategic goals and objectives with those of the Human Settlements Department.

He noted that the workload was enormous but he remained confident that staff and management were committed to contributing towards dynamic growth, transformation and professionalisation of the EAAB.

“It has to be transformed into a profession that becomes attractive to youth. The youth must see a future in the EAAB,” Papier said.

The first board meeting is expected to take place on 1 April 2013.

The new board members are Betheul Nsibande; Dr Fazel Randera; Sikander Kajee; Ewaldina Porteous; Jill Corfeld; Seeng Lebenya-Ntazi; Professor Kwandile Kondlo; Andile Ben-Mazwi; Dineo Molomo; Maletlatsi Maceba-Wotini; Advocate Tshepo Maake; Rhulani Marivate; JabhileMbele; Leo Mlambo; Damane. –