South Africa estate agents hope new minister will take action
June 07, 2012
A shift in ministerial responsibilities in South Africa is being viewed favorably by estate agents. Ministerial responsibility for the Estate Agency Affairs Act was transferred from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) on May 17 as a result of Human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale being placed in charge of the estate agency profession.
Johalna Minnaar (left), national president of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA)
, says that the IEASA sees this as a positive move for the profession. The IEASA hopes that the long awaited draft 'property transactions bill,' intended to replace the present Act, will soon be forthcoming.
"It's been six years since the DTI began its review of property laws and the regulatory system," says Minnaar. "Reform is badly needed, but progress has been very slow. Although there was talk last year of a draft 'property transactions bill' being gazetted for public comment, it has not yet appeared. We hope that the change of ministry will not create further delay."
The estate agency profession had been under the DTI and its predecessors for 35 years. "The change had evidently been on the cards for a while," says Minnaar. "The Cabinet reportedly decided last year that all property-related legislation should be under the DHS, and this transfer is clearly in line with that decision."
"Minister Sexwale has stated that the DHS will use estate agency legislation to help de-racialise residential areas, and that the department will interact with industry players and stakeholders at the right time," says Minnaar. "The IEASA, which has represented the estate agency profession for 75 years, sees this as another step towards transformation of the profession, and looks forward to interacting with the DHS when the time is right."