Constitution of the Mkhondo Chamber of Commerce


Name

The name of the business chamber is Mkhondo Chamber of Commerce (MCC)


Objectives

The objectives of the business chamber are as follows:

1.1 To be the non-political voice of all businesses within the Mkhondo Municipality, and to engage all relevant role players that have an effect, or potentially have an effect, on the profitability and/or sustainability of business in the Municipality;
1.2  To bring together business people, irrespective of colour, race, language or gender within the Mkhondo Municipality; 
1.3 To provide a service to its members through guidance and leadership in order to help them to be better equipped for business;
1.4 To host seminars and discussions on any topic of relevance to the business community; 
1.5 To receive relevant information that concerns the business community, to process it and to disseminate it amongst its members by means of a newsletter or any other means;
1.6 To assist members with guidance and advice about legislation and other requirements for good business practice; 
1.7 To facilitate closer interaction between the public sector, employers and employees through consultation, discussions and written submissions where necessary; 
1.8 To arrange functions and generate funds to further the aims of the business chamber;
1.9 To give acknowledgement to any person who has contributed extensively, be it in the field of business, culture or any other field in the area served by the Chamber of Commerce; 
1.10 To obtain, purchase, hire, rent, sell, donate, pawn or mortgage any property, movable as well as immovable of the business chamber;
1.11 To promote and foster a culture of support for our Members; 
1.12 To promote networking opportunities amongst Members and to advocate the interests of local businesses amongst each other;
1.13 To maintain an updated website, which will serve as a database and communications portal for all members, consumers and potential clients interested in doing business in our area;
1.14 To identify potential risks and/or threats to local businesses, and to find ways in which to effectively address these issues as they arise.


 Membership

Membership comprises the following categories

1.1 Ordinary members:
Any person or institution (company, close corporation, firm or enterprise) who owns or operates a local business either directly or indirectly, and having an active interest in it, may apply for membership of the business chamber. Applications by institutions must be accompanied by the names and post levels of all the persons who will act as representatives of the member concerned.

1.2 Special members:
Any person or institution (schools, members of the public, sports clubs etc) who are not local businesses, may apply to management to be allowed as a special member of the business chamber.  Special members will not have a vote at the Annual General Meeting. The MC may determine a reduced membership fee for such members.

1.3 Co –opted members:
The management of the business chamber will have the power to co-opt any person to management for a specific function and period.  Upon completion of the function or expiry of the period, such co-opted membership will cease. 

1.4 Honorary members:
Management has the right to nominate honorary membership to any person who has delivered outstanding service to the Chamber of Commerce, for ratification at the AGM.

Entry and membership fees
2.1 Ordinary and special members must apply for membership on the prescribed form and final approval of membership rests with the management of the business chamber.

2.2 Membership fees payable by members will be determined from time to time by the Management Committee of the business chamber and approved at the AGM.

Termination of membership
Any member’s membership may be terminated:

  • If a member resigns; or 
  • If management informs the member in writing of such termination.

Any member who has not paid his membership fee for the coming year within 60 days of the commencement of that year, will be regarded as having voluntarily terminated his membership.

Management will have the power to terminate any member’s membership on account of non-payment of membership fees and/or behaviour that in the opinion of management is not in the best interests of the business chamber. This step will only be taken once the disciplinary procedure has run its full course.


Meetings

Annual General Meeting
An annual general meeting of members must be held as soon as possible after the end of the financial year and on such a date as determined by the Management Committee.  At that meeting, the MC must report on activities of the past year and must table the financial statements of the past year for approval.  

The new Management Committee and an auditor for the next year must be elected at the meeting. 

Fifty percent (50%) of the paid up members plus one (1) constitutes a quorum. (Proxies will be allowed) If at the commencement of the meeting, a quorum is not present, the meeting will be delayed for thirty (30) minutes, whereafter all present will be regarded as a quorum.

Written notice of the venue and date of such meeting must be sent to all members at least fourteen (14) days in advance. 

An agenda of issues to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting must also be distributed together with the written notice fourteen (14) days in advance. Members are allowed to submit a request for additional items to be included, and this request must reach the Secretary not less than five days before the meeting. Items not listed on the agenda will not be open for discussion at the Annual General Meeting.

Special General Meeting
A special general meeting of members must be held if:

2.1 the Management Committee calls such a meeting or

2.2  at least 50% of members request such a meeting in writing to the Chairperson, stating the matters to be discussed at the meeting. Written notice of such meeting, stipulating the venue, date and agenda, must be sent to the members at least fourteen (14) days in advance.

Chairperson
The chairperson of the business chamber must act as chairperson at any general meeting, or in his/her absence, the vice-chairperson, or if both are absent, a member who is elected by those present as chairperson of the meeting.


Voting Rights

  • Voting at any meeting (except the Founding Meeting) will be done by show of hands by the persons present, except where at least 75% of members present request to vote by means of closed ballot.  Decisions will be taken by an ordinary majority of votes, and in the case of a hung vote, the chairperson has the deciding vote.
  • An ordinary member has one vote. Special members, co-opted members and honorary members do not have voting rights.
  • Any item that was resolved at a General Meeting will not be tabled for discussion again within 6 months of the decision having been taken.

Management Committee 

  • The Management Committee (MC) will consist of a minimum of 7 and maximum of 9 members elected at the Annual General Meeting.  The MC will have the power to invite one or more co-opted or honorary members to serve in the MC for a specific purpose or period, but such member will not have voting rights.
  • The management committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting, and each committee member serves for a term of two years. Every year, half of the positions come up for re-election. Those members who will come up for re-election at the first AGM, will be determined by random selection. Thereafter re-election will rotate.  
  • A chairperson, vice-chair person, secretary and treasurer will be elected by the MC at the first MC meeting after the AGM, which will take place immediately after conclusion of the AGM. 
  • The term of each Committee member expires after two years on the date of the Annual General Meeting, but members are eligible for re-election. 
  • One half of the members of the MC form a quorum.  If a member of the Management Committee is absent without a valid reason for three or more consecutive management meetings, the term of office of such a member will automatically be terminated.
  • The Management Committee decides how often they will meet, whether by way of a plenary management meeting or whether by way of a meeting by one or more sub-committees constituted by the Committee and subject to such conditions as determined by management.
  • The chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer will form the executive committee of the business chamber and will ensure that the day-to-day activities are carried out.

Powers of the Management Committee

The Committee will have the following powers:
1.1 To open a bank account in the name of the chamber and to authorise one or more committee members to manage such an account on behalf of the business chamber.
1.2 To make provision for the purchasing of any equipment, stationary, etc.  for office purposes.
1.3 To manage and arrange the procedures of the management meetings.
1.4 To appoint one or more subcommittees and to delegate to such committees certain instructions and powers as the Committee may deem necessary.
1.5 To identify persons suitable to become co-opted members and honorary members. 
1.6 To terminate the membership of any member (see Termination of membership).
1.7 To take any steps necessary to execute the objectives of the business chamber as outlined in this constitution, or resolved at an AGM.
1.8 To affiliate with a national business body.


Disbandment and Amalgamation

The business chamber will disband or amalgamate with another body or association only upon a decision taken by at least two thirds of the members present at a Special General Meeting or Annual General Meeting held in accordance with the stipulations as outlined above, and on condition that at least two thirds of the total members of the Chamber, are present at this meeting. (Proxies will be allowed) 


Upon disbandment any assets of the business chamber will be liquidated, and disbursed as agreed by resolution at the relevant AGM. 


Financial Year

The financial year of the business chamber will run from 1 March to the last day of February the following year, unless decided otherwise at a general meeting.


Books and Records

  • All cheques and payments made from the bank account of the business chamber must be approved and signed by two (2) members of the Management Committee, of which one has to be the current Chairperson. 


  • The books and records of the business chamber must be audited annually by a practising chartered accountant appointed at the Annual General Meeting.  The financial statements and report of the auditor must be tabled at the Annual General Meeting for discussions and approval.


  • Any member will have the right to inspect the books and records during normal business hours upon appointment and in consultation with the chairperson, but will not be entitled to remove such documents from the office of the business chamber. 


Minutes

Proper minutes must be kept of all meetings held.

 


Amendments to the Constitution

Any proposed changes to the constitution must be included in the agenda and notice of the annual general meeting, which will be distributed to members at least fourteen (14) days in advance.


Amendments to the constitution of the business chamber may only be made upon a decision taken at an Annual General Meeting by at least two thirds of the members present at such a meeting called in terms of the stipulations of this constitution. (Proxies will be allowed).