It is sad for me as the Chairperson of the Association to write this piece, about the collapse of an Ordinary Congress. But I do so to try an add value in ensuring that the one to be reconvened is a success.
The Ordinary Congress that was scheduled to take place on the 26th of January at Phuthaditshaba Primary School has collapsed due to non-compliance on the critical aspects of the determination of Members in Good Standing, and conformation of the quorum.
The matter of determining the standing of a Member is clearly articulated on paragraphs 4.2.6 and 4.2.7 of the Administration and Communications Policy of the Association. This covers both existing and new Members. All the Policies of the Association are obtainable from this link of this website: http://plfa.org.za/governance/
In order to prepare forthe Congress, the Executive Committee called a meeting called the Convocation for the Congress, which sat on the 21st of January 2019. From this Convocation, it was apparent that none on the Members was fully in Good Standing.
So I wrote to both Members and the Executive to alert them on what needs to be done in order to still go ahead with the Congress without violating the Constitution. I posted a communication on this website on this link on the 22nd of January 2019. I also made sure that this information is also emailed to the members on the same day.
This link contains information on what is required for a Member to be in Good Standing, what made all Members not to be in Good Standing, and thus needing to be condoned, and what Members need to do prior to the Congress to achieve compliance with the minimum requirements.
We wrote a memorandum on the same day with the same information, just formal, which needed to be sent to all members in order for them to prepare for the condonement of the non-compliance on the impractical Good Standing requirements, an to comply with the practical requirements.
The proposal in the above-mentioned memo is clear. The Executive Committee moved to approve the condonement in non-compliance for the impractical memberships requirements for 2019, and Members to accept the conditions of such a condonement. This means that if members do not accept the conditions, then there can be no condonement, and then the Congress cannot sit until all requirements are met.
The conditions here-above include the correction of non-compliance, and the prevention thereof so that for the next Congress there would be no ‘impractical’ requirements.
The fact that I wrote about this on this Website and sent emails to all Members on the 22nd of January 2019 does not mean that the issue has been taken care of. The Memo needed to be signed by all parties concerned and sent to Members as early as possible. This did not happen.
By the day of the Congress we it appears that we did not consult with this elaborate memo and the proposals in it. We just ignored the Good Standing requirements and just went straight into the meeting. Only later when one of our Members realised that we missed this critical step, did we talk about the condonement, and only started sharing the memo in question. See the memo here-below.
Members proposed that the Congress be called of, correctly so, giving an opportunity to correct this critical step. In all honesty, this matter does not need to be debated nor voted on. It is a constitutional matter. We are a Constitutional organisation. The Constitution is our supreme governance and prescriptive document. It is not a body with views. There we cannot vote against what the Constitution says, unless we are voting to amend it.
Therefore we accepted to proposal to stop the Congress, and to reconvene on the 9th of February 2019. Communication to the effect will be sent out.
As the Chairperson of the Association, I profusely apologise for the collapsing of the Congress. As the Executive Committee we could have handled this, and we could have prepared better. We’ll ensure of this correction.