GOVERNMENT yesterday came a step closer to regulating property valuers when Deputy Lands and Resettlement Minister Theo Diergaardt motivated proposed legislation in the National Council (NC).
Diergaardt, who is also the regional councillor for Hardap, said the Property Valuers' Profession Bill was necessary to hold property valuers accountable and to eliminate "incidences of unethical conduct by unqualified people masquerading as valuers".
He said the lack of a legal framework to regulate the industry has resulted in "unrealistically high land prices in the country which are beyond the reach of many of our people". Currently, "anyone who believes they are competent" can do property valuation, Diergaardt said.
He said proper valuation is crucial as it is used to determine municipal taxes, transfer and stamp duties and income tax in cases where an individual rents out property.
Among others, valuation is also used to set selling and rental prices, and is necessary for insurance, mortgage and balance sheet purposes.
Diergaardt said his Ministry looked at the situation in various African and overseas countries in drafting the bill. "In these countries, there is legislation that prescribes academic qualification coupled with experience in valuation for someone to practice as a registered valuer."
He said the bill had the backing of the professional valuers in Namibia, as well as the Bank of Namibia. It provides for the establishment of the Namibian Council for the Property Valuers Profession, as well as the registration of professionals, candidates and specified categories in the property valuation profession.
The bill also aims to create a uniform and standardised approach, methods and techniques to be used by valuers in Namibia.