Better leadership for real estate industry will be key to its future success

In his address to estate agents yesterday, Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, had a no-nonsense approach to the future of real estate in South Africa, which showed a strong vision and desire for involvement from the players in real estate industry.

Aside from announcing his mandate to reverse the spatial planning framework that harked back to Apartheid times, Tokyo Sexwale also made clear his intentions to regulate financial institutions to a certain degree in terms of their willingness and ability to provide finance to those potential homeowners in the lower and emerging markets.

Perhaps most importantly for the future of real estate in this country was Sexwale’s approach to the regulation of South Africa’s property industry. His comment that property had been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons was followed by his decisive announcement that the dysfunctional and incompetent Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) had been dissolved and that the Special Investigating Unit would be brought in. Other role players within the industry may, at some point, also be investigated to ensure compliance, a move which is sure to assist in further eradicating incompliant and unethical agents who give our industry a bad name.

Sexwale said that an administrator would be appointed to manage the EAAB in the interim and that a summit would be held in September to involve all industry stakeholders in workshop to map out the best way forward for property in South Africa. He said his goal of getting as many South Africans into houses as soon as possible could only be achieved with the assistance of the real estate industry, but first the real estate house needed to be restored to order.

These are all very positive messages for the future of property in South Africa. There is finally a leader in the real estate realm I am willing to follow. Tokyo Sexwale has a good proposed plan of action and his willingness to listen to the industry and our expertise and to allow us to participate in the future plans is hugely positive. RE/MAX of Southern Africa looks forward to a new era in the real estate business that is synonymous with good governance and transparency.

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