REAC gets tough on real estate malpractice

Mooketsi says even the Police will be engaged to help regulate the property sector PIC:MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Mooketsi says even the Police will be engaged to help regulate the property sector PIC:MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The Real Estate Advisory Council (REAC) is in talks with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development to develop an Act that will stamp out malpractice within the property arena, including the proliferation of rogue estate agents.

REAC chairperson, Montshwari Mooketsi told BusinessWeek that the Act, which is part of the Council’s five-year strategy, would regulate the property industry as a whole. “We have engaged the Ministry to help us come up with an Act that will expand the existing one to cover rental segments as well because we want to regulate the whole industry,” he said on Wednesday at the Property and Infrastructure Forum.

To ensure full regulation of the sector, Mooketsi said the Council would also engage the Botswana Police Services and other security agents as they have the capacity to cover the whole country.

The real estate sector has been littered with various types of malpractice including bogus agents, fraud around sales of houses and plots, overpricing, and unethical rental practices. Meanwhile, Mooketsi said far from an oversupply, the proliferation of malls in Gaborone and Palapye was indicative of the growth of investment and employment. 

“Botswana has always been operating with an undersupply of shopping malls which led to rentals being high,” Mooketsi said.

“We need more investors like pension funds in this industry to stabilise the property sector because it is a sleeping giant.”

Participants at the Property Expo noted that despite headwinds in the economy, which grew by a lower-than projected 2.4 percent last year, the property market had been showing signs of improvement.

The one-day Property and Infrastructure forum was aimed at defining a new agenda for public private sector partnership as a catalyst for growth in the local property market as well as determining where in the cycle Botswana’s property market is and where the future opportunities lie.

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