Members of SA's Estate Agency Affairs Board announced

After many years of turmoil, Minister of Human Settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, recently announced the new board of the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

The EAAB was mired in controversy during 2011/ 2012 due to the Wendy Machanik saga as well as the resignation of chief executive Nomonde Mapetla and chair Ina Wilken and was eventually placed under administration by Sexwale.

The new board includes professionals from various industries. Members include Sikkie Kajee, chief audit executive at Telkom SA, Mfanufikile Nsibande, senior analyst at the South African Reserve Bank and Dr Fazel Randera, chairman of Meditech SA.

According to Sexwale, the newly appointed board's first call of duty will be to appoint a new chief executive.

Many would argue that the board hadn't functioned properly long before the scandals that rocked it last year, as was evidenced by the resolutions of the summit held in Sandton in July.

Six hundred delegates representing 40 000 estate agents convened to discuss the future of the industry.

Their conclusions were telling; the first resolution stated that the Estate Agents Affairs Act needed to change.

According to Bruce Swain, managing director of Leapfrog Property Group, the change is long overdue.

"The act was drafted in 1976, and most certainly cannot cater for the situations experienced in SA's new democracy.

Provided that any amendments are based on common sense and resolution to drive change in the industry, to the betterment of all, we at Leapfrog are 100 percent behind any alterations."
At the summit the need for transformation was also given as a high priority, with Minister Sexwale noting that only 5 percent of the nation's 40 000 estate agents are black.

"Since Leapfrog's inception in 2005 we've been working on tipping the scales in favour of equality and we're looking forward to seeing broad- based change in the industry," says Swain.

"We hope the new EAAB will act against illegal agents practising without fidelity fund certificates, who damage the industry's reputation by exploiting the public. Another long-standing issue that needs to be tackled is that of the backlog in settling claims against the fidelity fund.

"I have every confidence that the board elected will perform its duty with the utmost consideration for the challenges being faced by the industry at present and we look forward to working with the EAAB to facilitate real change," says Swain.

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