BLACK ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Initiative set to transform SA's estate agency sector

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A learnership programme designed to speed up transformation in South Africa's estate agency sector was launched by Human Settlements Minister Connie September on Thursday.

The "one learner, one estate agency" programme will be administered by the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

Only about 10% of the 40 000 estate agents registered in South Africa are black, September said.

"It is an unfortunate reality that the sector presently remains characterised by an acute under-representation of formerly disadvantaged persons. This patent lack of meaningful transformation, notwithstanding the consistent endeavours of the EAAB to inculcate awareness amongst sector role players of the transformation imperative, can no longer be tolerated," she said.

Promotion

Through the programme, the board and its partners hope to recruit 10 000 new entrants to the sector over three years, starting now. This means more than 3 300 new entrants will be recruited to the sector every year.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board has received support for the programme through written pledges from 20 estate agency firms to collectively take on 750 learners.

This will increase the number of estate agents by 20% and increase the level of understanding of property as an asset for economic well being and trading, the board said. It hopes the programme will help promote real estate marketing as a career.

September said more women, the youth and physically disabled persons should be given an opportunity to participate in the sector.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board is responsible for regulating the industry in South Africa. All people carrying out the activities of an estate agent are obliged to register with the board. It currently controls about 10 000 estate agency enterprises.

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