Estate Agency Affairs Board to probe the extent of rental racism in Cape Town after 'race-specific' incident
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Cape Town - The extent of just how pervasive rental racism is in Cape Town will be looked at by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) when it investigates a complaint involving a local estate agent for allowing a “race-specific” demand from its client.
The regulatory body was established in 1976 in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest; and for incidental matters.
Pol Osei, 26, registered a complaint at the EAAB on October 21, following an incident that occurred earlier that week.
This after Live Real Estate agent Gabriella Johnson refused to proceed with a viewing and application process for the R17 000 Fountain Suites apartment located in the Cape Town CBD, stating that her client was “race-specific”.
An investigator from the EAAB head offices in Johannesburg will be dispatched to Cape Town to co-ordinate the investigation.
EAAB chief executive Mamodupi Mohlahla said discrimination in any form was unacceptable and it was time to clamp down on rental racism in the property sector.
“From the details publicised in the media, both the owner of the property and the authorised agency are bordering on criminality by knowingly leasing apartments to whites only.
“South African law is clear that discriminating against anyone on the grounds of race, religion and gender, among others, is strictly prohibited,” said Mohlahla.
“We take very seriously this complaint and will conduct a thorough investigation into not only the agency and the agent but also to ascertain the extent of rental racism in the province.
“We will pursue this matter to the fullest extent of the law to ensure that the property sector understands that such practices will not be tolerated.”
Live Real Estate chief executive Brendan Miller said he was aware that a complaint had been made against the now-suspended Johnson at the EAAB.
“We welcome, and fully support an investigation by the EAAB into Gabriella's conduct. We consider her conduct as serious and in direct violation of South Africa's Constitution. There is simply no place for any form of discrimination in our country, nor at Live Real Estate,” said Miller.
Osei said: “I'm glad to see that the EAAB has taken my complaint seriously. I will wait for the investigation to take its course.”