OPINION

Lindiwe Sisulu instructs EAAB to investigate Penny Sparrow

Human Settlements minister also orders a nationwide enquiry on racism by Estate Agents

Minister Sisulu instructs the EAAB to investigate racist Estate Agent, Penny Sparrow

The Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu has instructed the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) to investigate and provide a report on action if necessary to be taken against an Estate Agent, Penny Sparrow, who posted racist remarks on social media.

The Minister has instructed the EAAB to report to her as soon as possible on the allegations and action that can be taken; a meeting is confirmed for today with relevant role players including the owners of the franchise Penny Sparrow is employed as an agent.

All Estate Agents are required to register with the EAAB in order to legally practice as Estate Agents, the registration is in terms of the EAAB Act, all applicable regulations and other laws of the land.

Update:

Sisulu orders a nationwide enquiry on racism by Estate Agents

The Ministry of Human Settlements today met with the EAAB leadership and Jawitz Properties franchise owners to discuss concerns from South Africans in relation to racist comments made by Ms Penny Sparrow an agent under the Jawitz franchise, 

The following facts came to light in the meeting:

1. That Penny Sparrow has resigned from Jawitz Properties

2. That Jawitz properties is considering legal action against her for bringing their company into disrepute, including civil action.

3. The EAAB also reported that Penny Sparrow licence to operate as an Estate Agent has expired on December 31, 2015. she is required to submit a new application for renewal of her licence.

The Minister, who is currently in Marikana preparing for the Handover of the Marikana Housing Projecttomorrow received a briefing after the meeting, the meeting also noted a number of comments and reports of other cases of racist behaviour by estate agents posted on social media and in the mass media.

Following the briefing, The Minister instructed the Department of Human Settlements to work with the Human Rights Commission and the EAAB to conduct an enquiry into racism by estate agents in South Africa, the report must be submitted within six months.

The Minister also indicated that Estate Agents who do not offer professional service to all South Africans must not be allowed to operate. She added that racist agents like Penny Sparrow who have no respect for the constitution and laws of the country must not be allowed to serve South Africans.

"You cannot be an Estate Agent by day and in the evening you are posting racists comments and behaving in an unlawful and offensive way, our regulations and code of conduct must provide instruments for people like Penny Sparrow not to operate as Estate Agents, the EAAB must make sure, if it is not there in current regulations, those regulations must be amended to ensure that we root out racism in the sector, it is our responsibility as Government" She added. 

Details of the Enquiry secretariat and its operations will be advertised in the mass media in the coming weeks.

Statement issued by Ndivhuwo Mabaya, Ministry of Human Settlements, 5 January 2016