The Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has spoken out against allegations of racism and unethical practices in the property sector, which prevent small property practitioners from entering the market. It now plans on investigating claims of racism raised by property practitioners, and it agrees with smaller and black practitioners that transformation in the sector is still slow.
PPRA acting CEO Deli Nkambule said that the slow progress of transformation has to do with the issue of legislation. The Property Practitioners Act only came into operation this year. “As the PPRA, we are aware that transformation has been very slow and this was mainly due to the fact that there was no legislative backing for the transformation,” she said. “We are therefore implementing transformation initiatives geared to facilitating and advancing transformation in the sector as embedded in the legislation.
“Some of the programmes under the transformation initiative are to assist with principalisation which is aimed at ensuring that black people can be trained and qualify as principals who will then, in turn, be able to own their own firms which will then contribute to a number of black companies in this sector.” Nkambule said that in the past, the PPRA had held a number of public hearings into racism in the sector.
“It is the regulator’s intention to unearth the extent and prevalence of alleged racist practices within the industry, and furthermore, it is the aim of the PPRA to investigate the efficacy of the application of the Code of Conduct for the industry and the newly-enacted Property Practitioners Act insofar as it relates to racism,” she said. “The PPRA wishes to submit that racism and discrimination in any industry is contrary to economic growth and anyone in the property sector discriminating against black South Africans definitely interrupts economic growth.”
Nkambule has also called on small property practitioners to report unethical practices within the sector. Small property practitioners have continuously accused estates of charging them an accreditation fee in order to trade in a particular estate. One such practitioner is Gladness Shirindza, who owns Akani Real Estate which operates in Gauteng and Limpopo. Shirindza said that in one of the property estates she attempted to sell a house on behalf of a client, and she was told that she had to pay an R20,000 accreditation fee in order to trade in the estate.
This was despite the fact that she was a fully-accredited property practitioner. Nkambule said that the PPRA was aware of these types of practices and viewed them as a direct contravention of the Act, which prohibited any arrangement by an entity that controlled or managed properties that enabled a property practitioner to trade in the property. “We have previously tried to deal with such undesirable conduct and we were unsuccessful, and now we have a legislative backing to deal with the situation,” she said