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Estate agency sector faces widespread probe

THABANG Business Day
Estate agency sector faces widespread probe - estate agency - South Africa

A COUNTYWIDE investigation will probe 5826 estate agencies and 27769 estate agents as the Estate Agency Affairs Board throws its net wider in ensuring that firms and individuals are operating above board.

The board has brought in auditing firms SAB&T, Ernst & Young and G&G Chartered Accountants to investigate the real estate industry.

This comes after Wendy Machanik Properties, one of SA’s leading estate agencies, had its trust accounts placed under curatorship following alleged financial irregularities in the management of the accounts.

Up to R25m may be involved, according to the findings of a risk management report provided to the South Gauteng High Court by the board.

The court appointed a curator to control and administer the accounts of the company, which belongs to property doyenne Wendy Machanik. The court also issued an interim interdict preventing Ms Machanik from operating the trust, savings or other interest-bearing accounts of the company.

Communications head at the estate agency board, Portia Mofikoe, said yesterday the auditors would perform inspections on behalf of the board in their respective regions for 12 months, starting with transactions from November last year.


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