EAAB chairperson Professor Kwandiwe Kondlo said on Thursday at a media launch that the programme aimed to have one school-leaving learner or tertiary student enter each of the estate agencies over three years, ending March 31, 2017, to create 10 000 new professional estate agents.
The EAAB had introduced a mandatory one-year programme for intern estate agents and would facilitate and monitor each internship position to ensure interns had a structured learning environment and were exposed to meaningful, applied and relevant practical learning.
Human Settlements Minister Connie September said the focus on creating internships was aimed at ensuring the transformation of the sector to reduce the glaring inequalities in the country, as highlighted by its poor Gini co-efficient; a measure of the relative distribution of income within the population.
The programme would widen the scope of active participation by youth, women and previously disadvantaged people in the sector and grow the understanding of immovable property as an economic asset and a key contributor to economic development and growth.
The programme was also launched to ensure the growth and continuity of the industry as only 10% of its members were black professionals and the average age of professionals was 58 years, noted September.
The Minister and Kondlo added that real estate agencies had pledged their support for the principles of the ‘One Learner – One Estate Agency’ programme, with 20 estate agencies, as well as the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa, endorsing the programme.
However, Jawitz Properties CEO Herschel Jawitz questioned the funding for the internship positions from the EAAB and the relevant sector education and training authority (Seta), especially considering the problems experienced in accessing funding during previous initiatives.
Services Seta CEO Hannes Mouton said its funding structure had yet to be finalised, but pointed out that the Services Seta board had committed itself to the programme and a May 6 meeting would determine the funding and disbursement mechanisms for the programme.
EAAB CEO Bryan Chaplog said the programme had broad support and was aimed at benefitting the industry, adding that the internships would be created within a structured organisation that was a going concern and could earn revenue while training each of the participants.
BY: SCHALK BURGER
Edited by: Tracy Hancock