|The Estate Agency Affairs Board has moved swiftly in the wake of newspaper reports of the board being in turmoil to emphasise that the Fidelity Fund is “financially sound.”|
The board managed Fidelity Fund is used to settle financial claims by consumers against registered estate agents.
In a strongly worded October 6 statement, EAAB chief executive officer, Nomonde Mapetla, issued assurances that no irregularities had been found with the Fidelity Fund, adding that it was “in an extremely favourable financial position.”
“Any rumours to the contrary are not only totally unfounded and malicious in the extreme but are certainly not based on knowledge or the empirical facts.”
Mapetla was reacting to earlier newspaper reports that the board was in turmoil amid allegations of financial irregularities. The report also noted that five members of the board had resigned following the completion of a forensic audit into its affairs. The report had been submitted to Mandisi Mpahlwa, the Minister of Trade and Industry.
Today’s statement from the Board welcomed the findings of a forensic audit report, pointing out that Nomonde Mapetla had commissioned it when she had taken up her appointment. “When I took up office as CEO of the Board, I commissioned a full audit of the Fidelity Fund and of the EAAB account.”
“As the statutory body for the real estate industry, we are committed to full transparency, good governance and accountability to our many stakeholders. The findings of the report have led to the resignations of five members of the Board.”
The statement said the board was satisfied that action has been taken to rectify the financial irregularities that were found. Further disciplinary action would be implemented in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
“We now await instruction from the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mandisi Mpahlwa, regarding the Board,” says Mapetla.
“The Estate Agency Affairs Board continues to serve its constituents and the public by protecting the rights of consumers while maintaining the highest ethical standards within the estate agents' industry,” she concluded.