22 MARCH 2017
Despite the best endeavours of the Estate Agency Affairs Board to sensitise practicing estate agents to the evils of racism and notwithstanding the conduct of a concerted campaign focusing on the insidious consequences of such acts, a further incident of blatant and unacceptable racism, including the use of crude and grossly offensive language, has been brought to its attention.
The incident in question arises out of a WhatsApp message recently addressed by Carol van Rensburg, an estate agent in the service of RE/MAX Exclusive of Klerksdorp, North West, to all members of the closed office WhatsApp group of that particular enterprise. The staff compliment of RE/MAX Exclusive is approximately fifteen persons.
The WhatsApp message concerned, written in Afrikaans, is so egregiously offensive that it cannot be reproduced herein. The message does, however, disparage Black South Africans and, in all likelihood, constitutes a contravention of section 10 of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 4 of 2000, in that it both publishes and communicates words that could reasonably be construed as demonstrating a clear intention to be hurtful to the vast majority of South Africans.
The EAAB has been informed that the initiator of the WhatsApp message was dismissed from the service of RE/MAX Exclusive. As in all instances of racism and discriminatory behaviour which come to the attention of the EAAB, disciplinary proceedings will forthwith be instituted by the EAAB against the estate agent concerned. The matter will also be reported to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for adjudication. This may result in further court action should the SAHRC determine that the violation in question warrants court deliberation. The matter will also be referred to the Equality Court for consideration with a view to eradicating the ever present post-apartheid spectre which continues to divide South Africa along racial- and gender-related lines.
The EAAB reiterates that it will not, under any circumstances, tolerate the use of racistic language by estate agents nor will it condone any acts of racism or discrimination, howsoever arising, by estate agents operating within the regulated sector. The EAAB, through the effective utilisation of all measures at its disposal, will ensure that the scourge of racism is extirpated from the estate agency sector. Any speech, gesture, conduct, writing or display that may incite prejudicial action against, disparage or intimidate, any individual or group will continue to be severely dealt with by the EAAB.
Issued by: Estate Agency Affairs Board