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Constitution

Introduction

This page presents our revised constitution. This is more in the form of a statement of intent, as we recognise the need to consult with a legal expert before it is formalised into a legal constitution. For information on changes made to the existing constitution, click here.

SA WISE Constitution

Article 1: Name
The organisation shall be called the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA WISE).

Article 2: Liability

  1. No member of SA WISE shall by virtue of her/his membership have any claim to the assets of the association.
  2. No member of SA WISE shall be liable for fulfilling any obligation or for settling any debts incurred by the association.

Article 3: Objectives
The objectives of SA WISE are:

  1. To raise the profile of women scientists and engineers
  2. To highlight problems faced specifically by women in science and engineering
  3. To lobby for the advancement of women in science and engineering
  4. To provide input to the development of science policy in South Africa
  5. To provide leadership and role models for young people wishing to enter the fields of science and engineering

Article 4: Membership and Membership Fees

  1. Membership will be open to all women who:
    • are working, or have worked, professionally in South Africa in the fields of science or engineering, or
    • hold a B Tech diploma, a BSc or BSc(Eng) degree or higher degree in science or engineering, or
    • are, or have been, school teachers of science, biology or mathematics in South Africa.
  2. Membership will be open to all men in the above categories who wish to associate themselves with the objectives of SA WISE.
  3. Associate membership will be open to undergraduate science students and persons who wish to associate themselves with the objectives of SA WISE.
  4. Application for membership shall be on the prescribed form obtainable from Branch or National Committees or via email.
  5. Any person who has been admitted as a member of SA WISE shall retain her/his membership until she/he resigns, or until her/his membership fees are 12 months in arrears, or until her/his membership is terminated by the National Committee.
  6. Membership fees shall be determined annually by the National Committee. Reduced fees for students and/or retired persons will be decided upon by the National Committee.

Article 5: Committees

  1. Branch Committees shall be elected at each centre where a branch of SA WISE is established. These will consist of a Chair, a Secretary plus two members. Additional members can be co-opted onto Branch Committees at the discretion of the Committee. The terms of office of Branch Committees shall be two years. Members of the Branch Committees shall not be eligible for election for more than two consecutive terms of office, unless there is a definite need for continuity.
  2. A National Committee shall be elected to oversee national functions, including the chair, the treasury and the administration of the web site and mailing list. The regional chairs will be represented on the National Committee and will be involved in all decision making. Nominations for these positions will be called for from all existing members of SA WISE. All members of SA WISE will be asked to vote for the members of the National Committee and a simple majority will be required for election. In the case of a tied vote members will be asked to vote again. The term of office of the National Committee shall be two years.
  3. If there is only one active Branch Committee then that will become the de facto National Committee. Once more branches are established then a new National Committee can be elected.

Article 6: Meetings

  1. Meetings of branches (commonly in the form of Annual General Meetings) shall be held at the discretion of the Branch Committees but members may request a meeting. At least one meeting must be held every year. The quorum for these meetings will be 10% of the paid-up membership.
  2. Meetings of Branch Committees shall be at the discretion of the Chair and members of each committee. At least one meeting must be held every year.
  3. Meetings of the National Committee shall be at the discretion of the Chair and members of the committee but it is envisaged that most of the business of the committee will be by distance communication. At least one meeting must be held every year.

Article 7: Fundraising and Financial Statements

  1. SA WISE shall be permitted to raise funds from the private or public sector. All money will be deposited into a central account, which the National treasurer will manage. Requests for money should be made in writing by the person concerned and must be endorsed by the regional chair.
  2. The National Treasurer shall submit an audited financial statement of the assets and liabilities of SA WISE to all branches on an annual basis. An auditor or honorary auditor shall be appointed by the National Committee.

Article 8: Amendments to the Constitution
The Constitution can be changed by a 2/3 majority of all members. Members can accept or decline changes by email. (this still needs to be fleshed out)

Article 9: Dissolution of SA WISE
On dissolution of SA WISE its assets shall be handed over to any organisation or society designated and approved by the National Committee.