Moving ahead but far from home

Posted On Thursday, 12 May 2005 02:00 Published by
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There has been conflict between stakeholders and the cost of SA's property charter has been high.

By Pauline Larsen        
 
There has been conflict between stakeholders and the cost of SA's property charter has been high. 

The heart of the matter in this R1 trillion industry, says charter steering committee chairman Andy Tondi, is commitment to transformation. 

"We have to understand why there's such difficulty dealing with transformation in property," he says.

"No other process in the industry has been as challenging. But we have found a way of resolving the issues." 

The process began in 2003 and it took a year to get all the right stakeholders on board. Today, the executive consists of nine groups, including the SA Institute of Black Property Practitioners, the SA Property Owners' Association (Sapoa) and the Estate Agency Affairs Board. 

"Divisions between races and genders are not helping the greater cause," says Tondi.

"The industry will in the end be best served by one collective group." 

Tensions have recently run high between Sapoa and the SA Institute of Black Property Practitioners.

In a press release this week, the executives of the two organisations admitted that "it has been a rocky road for these two organisations and the [institute] threatened to withdraw from the charter altogether, citing Sapoa as an obstacle to the process". 

But now a truce has been called between the two bodies.  There's more to do. The R700bn residential market, which is the most important source of future wealth for most South Africans, is barely mentioned in the current draft. Tondi puts this down to transformation issues of estate agents being different from those of commercial and industrial property. 

"Intense debate has not yet taken place in this subsector," he says. "But estate agents have promised to deliver by the end of May." 

Before the charter can be finalised, though, some important issues must be addressed, including residential property, exact targets for employment of women and black people and direct ownership of property by blacks.  


Publisher: Financial Mail
Source: Financial Mail

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