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Transforming the auctioneering industry

The South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA) head of transformation, Kwanele Boltina
The South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA) head of transformation, Kwanele Boltina

Auctioneers who are most representative of the country’s population can expect to gain the lion’s share of business as the country’s demographics change and previously disadvantaged individuals become active in the marketplace.

Rather than hindering existing auctioneering businesses, transformation within an organisation can open the doors to new business channels and provide access markets that may otherwise be difficult to gain access.

This is according to the South African Institute of Auctioneers (SAIA) head of transformation, Kwanele Boltina, who adds that the tide is slowly turning as the black middle and upper classes become more active in the market and start flexing their collective spending muscles.

“The process of change in the auctioneering industry has been slow as a result of many factors. In some instances it is hampered by clients in both the government and private sectors undermining the values of transformation merely due to assumptions that we, as previously disadvantaged individuals, are keen to overtake or take their existing and potential future work.

“Others may lack the clear understanding of the benefits it brings to industry and the economy. Conversely, the industry still suffers from a reluctance on the part of vast parts of the population who believe that it is a white man's game. We are seeing a gradual increase in interest however there are still existing fears and stigmas that, mostly due to ignorance and lack of knowledge.

“One thing is sure though, is that times are changing, and the mass population of this country is blacks who are the major consumers, creditors are financing more blacks as more are starting to afford both movable and immovable assets meaning more black buyers and more black defaulters therefore more auction sales which is beneficial for auctioneers in kind,” says Kwanele.

He adds that SAIA continues to further the cause of transformation in the industry with guidance, training and the promotion of auctioneering as a viable and attractive career among previously disadvantaged communities.

“Although there are no dramatic changes we have short-term, mid-term and long-term goals to achieve, and we are gradually getting there. SAIA is slowly leveling the playing field and ensuring that our members meet the applicable legislative requirements, making sure it is visible and auditable and ensuring that the needs of the industry, its members and stakeholders are met.

“That is why, first and foremost, SAIA aspires to transform the auction industry with benefits to our members through equal involvement and participation with an outcomes based and transparent relationship in a transformed manner with fellow members,” he says.

Kwanele concludes that one area that does need to be improved rapidly to ensure fair access to auctions is affordability and access to data to allow average South Africans to participate in the growing trend of online auctions. Small start-ups and some black-owned businesses have also complained that the auctioneering software is expensive and may become a barrier to new entrants.

Companies wishing to find out more about transformation in the auctioneering industry can contact SAIA.

South African Institute of Auctioneers, Sonja Styger, SAIA Secretary, Tel: (021) 813 6342, Fax: 086 660 5276, Email: sonja.styger@auctioneering.co.za. 


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