Each person who wishes to become a member of SESSA is required to undertake to be bound by the terms of the constitution of SESSA (the “constitution”) and each of SESSAʼs bylaws (together “the constitutional documents”). Some members of SESSA are also required to join certain divisions of SESSA that link in with the memberʼs commercial and business interests. This is dealt with in clause 6.1.2 of the constitution.
An up-to-date version of the constitutional documents (as may be amended from time to time in accordance with clause 3.7 and 7.1 of the constitution), together with those of the different divisions of SESSA (if applicable) can be found on SESSAʼs website (www.sessa.org.za) for ease of review. The schedule of subscription and annual fees for membership (as amended from time to time) can also be found on SESSAʼs website.
As a general rule, SESSA, as a voluntary association, is required to comply with the Consumer Protection Act (68 of 2008, as amended) (the “CPA”) in the marketing and provision by it of services in the ordinary course of its business to certain of its potential members and members. The purpose of the CPA is to seek to promote fair business practices and protect the interests of both potential members and members of SESSA.
The purpose of this note is to provide members and potential members of SESSA with clarity about the purpose of the constitutional documents and to draw your attention to the fact that, in agreeing to become a member or renew your membership, some of your rights may be limited, and obligations imposed on you by the constitutional documents. Persons who would like to become members or renew their membership of SESSA are requested to first read through and familiarise themselves with this note and the constitutional documents, and ensure that they understand the constitutional documents of SESSA and any applicable division or branch of SESSA before paying the applicable annual subscription fee.
Any questions or concerns in respect of the constitutional documents together with the constitutional documents of the relevant division of SESSA (if applicable) should please be directed to the secretary of SESSA, whose contact details can be found on SESSAʼs website (www.sessa.org.za) for clarification before you pay the annual subscription fee . Once you have paid the annual subscription fee, you are understood to have read through, fully understood and agreed to be bound by the constitutional documents together with the constitutional documents of the relevant division or branch of SESSA (if applicable), and to have agreed to receive newsletters, notices and other communications from the Society.
For the avoidance of doubt, SESSA is managed by the Council whose members are jointly responsible for the strategic management, direction and decisions of SESSA. The day-to-day management of SESSA is conducted by a permanent office (the SESSA Office) as and when so delegated by the Council. The SESSA Office falls under the direction of the Council and is required to report to the Council.
The constitution is an agreement between SESSA and each of its members that regulates the relationship between the parties. This agreement deals with a variety of matters including:
a. the objectives and mandate of SESSA;
b. the types of membership that exist in SESSA and how persons can become members or cease to be members of SESSA (whether voluntarily or involuntarily as a result, for example, of misconduct or non-payment of fees);
c. the obligations, liabilities and rights of SESSA and each of its members;
d. how decisions are to be made and internal disputes regulated by SESSA; and
e. the exclusion of personal liability of council members of SESSA as against the members of SESSA for actions or omissions conducted in good faith by council members. In this regard your attention is drawn to clause 3.8 of the constitution.
The bylaws are rules of SESSA that govern the internal management of SESSA. These are reviewed and amended in accordance with clause 3.7 of the constitution, as and when required to remain relevant to the needs of SESSA. As set out above, these form part of the constitutional documents and contain important information, for example, the code of conduct to which all members are bound.