EAAB wants to place 2000 interns

06 November 2017

About 2 000 black graduates will be placed with different estate agencies across the country as the industry tries to show it is serious about transformation.

Yesterday, officials from the Estate Agencies Affairs Board (EAAB) appeared before the parliamentary portfolio committee on human settlements where they were to present their turnaround strategy and progress on transformation.

EAAB acting chief executive Nikita Sigaba said the sector education and training authority (Seta) has approved the board's application for funding which will allow the board to place the 2 000 students.

"We had a very beneficial partnership with Seta on one learner estate programme. It is aimed at empowering young people and more particularly women and people with disabilities. We will retain them, and give them access to the market," said Sigaba.

The EAAB has partnered with the SA Development Agency (Sagda) to provide black interns with the opportunity to enter the industry.

Sigaba said they have also established an incubator programme which would exempt firms with an annual turnover of less than R200 000 from submitting an annual auditor's report.

The initiative would also ensure such firms needed only to submit bank statements for the year in question for review by the board.

"The board will establish a transformation fund to support all transformation initiative and all outstanding fines will be cancelled during the amnesty period," he said.

The board told the committee of an established "aggressive consumer campaign", which aimed to educate consumers on their rights and responsibilities when buying, renting or leasing property.

"We have urged people with this programme to use registered state agents. It has benefits (and) protects the public.

"We have done community radio interviews, we have done social media and advertising, on billboards and radio station," she said.

An estate agent bill was also tabled before Parliament.

The bill aimed to transform the property sector and enable small players to enter the field.

Recent reviews estimated that the South African property sector market size was about R5.8 trillion, consisting of commercial, residential, public sector and zoned land sectors.

It was estimated that out of 38 000 estate agents, only 13 percent were black.

However, the EAAB said about 400 new black entrants were recorded in the past financial year.

The regulator received funding for 978 youth in the past financial year, with only 300 youth enrolling on the board's 12-month programme.

About 200 of the funded youth were retained in the industry to work as estate agents at various agencies.

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