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Tue May 24 17:46:38 SAST 2016

Penny Sparrow could be looking for a new job

TMG Digital | 05 January, 2016 18:59
Sisulu said that estate agents who do not offer a professional service to all South Africans must not be allowed to operate. File photo
Image by: Gallo Images

Penny Sparrow‚ the estate agent at the centre of a simmering race row‚ could soon be out of a job.

The Minister of Human Settlements‚ Lindiwe Sisulu‚ has ordered a nationwide survey on racism among estate agents‚ the department said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The ministry met with the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EEAB)‚ including members of Jawitz Properties‚ on Tuesday “to discuss concerns from South Africans in relation to racist comments made by Ms Penny Sparrow‚ an agent under the Jawitz franchise”.

Sparrow was until recently employed by Jawitz Properties.

At the meeting‚ it was established that Sparrow has resigned from Jawitz Properties; that Jawitz properties is considering legal action against her for bringing their company into disrepute‚ including civil action; and that Sparrow’s licence to operate as an estate agent expired on December 31‚ 2015‚ and she is required to submit a new application for renewal of her licence.

Sisulu was briefed by the team and told about “a number of comments and reports of other cases of racist behaviour by estate agents posted on social media and in the mass media”.

She instructed her department “to work with the Human Rights Commission and the EAAB to conduct an enquiry into racism by estate agents in South Africa”.

Sisulu said that estate agents who do not offer a professional service to all South Africans must not be allowed to operate.

"You cannot be an Estate Agent by day and in the evening you are posting racists comments and behaving in an unlawful and offensive way‚ our regulations and code of conduct must provide instruments for people like Penny Sparrow not to operate as estate agents. The EAAB must make sure‚ if it is not there in current regulations‚ those regulations must be amended to ensure that we root out racism in the sector‚ it is our responsibility as Government‚" said Sisulu.

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