NEWS & ANALYSIS

Estate Agency Affairs Board’s proposed resolution racist – AfriForum

According to the document different rules will apply to different groups, depending on skin colour

AfriForum: Estate Agency Affairs Board’s proposed resolution is blatant racism

2 December 2019 

AfriForum today wrote a letter to Lindiwe Sisulu, the minister of human settlements, and the Estate Agency Affairs Board, demanding the scrapping of the board’s proposed resolution to unfairly benefit “previously disadvantaged individuals”. The civil rights organisation is also in the process of obtaining legal advice, should the resolution be implemented. 

During a presentation about complying with property law, the board proposed the implementation of a resolution “to fulfil its mandate from the minister of human settlements to transform the property industry”. The resolution entails that “previously disadvantaged” estate agents can apply for: 

Exemption of payments for fidelity fund certificates, continuing professional development (CPD) and fines;

Exemption of compliance with CPD requirements;

Exemption of compliance with educational qualifications; and

Exemption of the submission of audit reports for trust accounts.

“According to the proposed resolution, different rules should apply to different groups, depending on their skin colour. It is unacceptable that some people will in effect be exempt from being accountable, while others are forced to comply to certain standards,” says Monique Taute, Head of AfriForum’s Anti-corruption Unit.

According to Taute, the implementation of this resolution will create a dangerous precedent for other professional bodies. “Control measures such as these exist precisely to protect the public and to avoid them from being exploited. It doesn’t make any sense that some people would be exempt from these measures. On the contrary, it is a grave injustice,” concludes Taute.

Visit https://www.afriforum.co.za/en/estate-agency-affairs-boards-proposed-resolution-is-blatant-racism/ to support AfriForum’s campaign against this blatant racism.

Text of letter:

Dear Madam Minister

REVOCATION OF PROPOSED RESOLUTION BY ESTATE AGENCY AFFAIRS BOARD – PREVIOUSLY DISADVANTAGED INDIVIDUALS

It has been brought to AfriForum’s attention that the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has proposed a resolution to the Minister of Human Settlements and Water and Sanitation that will permit previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs) to apply for exemption from certain legislative requirements.

AfriForum insists that this proposed regulation be withdrawn as it is tantamount to blatant racism and unfair discrimination.

According to a presentation by the EAAB, these exemptions include:

Exemption from payment for Fidelity Fund Certificates, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and fines;

Exemption from CPD compliance;

Exemption from education qualifications; AND

Exemption from submissions and audit reports.

This proposed resolution in fact suggests different rules for different groups of people based on the colour of their skin. It is unfair discrimination according to section 9(3) of the Constitution, which states that:

The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

It is unthinkable that certain people are in effect exempted from being held responsible, while others are held to certain standards. Control measures – such as those which the regulation aims to set aside for PDIs – indeed exist to protect the public’s interest.

AfriForum also believes that the implementation of this resolution may set a precedent for other professional bodies.

AfriForum therefore insists that the EAAB withdraws the proposed resolution in its entirety, and that the Minister rejects it. AfriForum is also considering legal action, should this resolution be implemented.

Yours sincerely

Monique Taute, Head: Anti-corruption Unit, AfriForum

ENDS

Issued by AfriForum, 2 December 2019