SAPOA CEO, Neil Gopal
The South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) moved quickly to support the investigation of fraud allegations on the part of local businesses agencies in Johannesburg this week.
Recent media reports have revealed that some shopping centres, hotels and real estate agencies have allegedly been colluding to defraud the City of Johannesburg of more than R200 million in lost revenue.
Eighteen council employees have reportedly been arrested so far, and a detailed report into the involvement of big business will be released next month.
“As the voice of the commercial and industrial property industry in SA, SAPOA subscribes to the highest standards of business ethics and good corporate governance,” underscores SAPOA CEO, Neil Gopal.
“We welcome the investigation and are available to assist wherever and to whatever extent possible.”
The allegations include manipulation of property valuation rates, meter tampering and illegal connection of both water and electricity.
“Any SAPOA member individual or entity found guilty will lose their membership,” he says.
Gopal adds that SAPOA trusts the investigation will be fair, transparent and inclusive – and identify tighter controls and monitoring processes going forward.
“We encourage the same expediency in action for investigations currently being undertaken at the national Department of Public Works.”