Article 1: Title
The club shall be known as the Western Province Cat Club.
Article 2: Headquarters
The headquarters of the club shall be in Cape Town or its suburbs and at such address as the committee may from time to time decide on.
Article 3: Objectives
The objectives of the club shall be:
- To advance the interest in cats of breeders, exhibitors and club members;
- To encourage the breeding of cats to the highest standards;
- To hold shows and promote interest in, and knowledge of, cats;
- To co-operate with, affiliate to, or join any societies, bodies or associations, whether provincial, national or international, having objects wholly or in part similar to those of this club, as may appear to be in the best interests of the club;
- To donate to a charitable organisation or organisations devoted to the welfare of cats;
- To run the club as a non-profit making organisation and to devote any surplus realised by the club to the furtherance of the objects of the club.
Article 4: Legal Proceedings
The club may sue and be sued in any court of law in its name and be represented in any legal proceedings by any person or persons delegated for such purpose by the committee.
Article 5: Membership
- Applications for membership duly signed by the applicant and accompanied by payment of the first year’s subscription shall be sent to the club and voted on at the next committee meeting. The election of members shall be by simple majority vote and the decision of the committee shall be final.
- The club shall consist of life members, full members, family members, and honorary life members, whose names and addresses shall be recorded by the membership secretary.
- Full members shall consist of people whose membership fees, as determined by the committee annually, have been fully paid up for the year concerned and who have accepted the terms as set out in Article 6. Only people over sixteen (16) years of age shall be eligible to vote, or act in terms of Article 6.
- Family members shall consist of two or more persons residing at the same address, whose membership fees, as determined by the committee annually, have been fully paid up for the year concerned and who have accepted the terms as set out in Article 6. Only those over sixteen (16) years of age shall be eligible to vote, or act in terms of Article 6.
- Life members shall consist of full members as set out in subsection (b)(ii) who paid the life membership fees, as determined by the committee, before 2005.
- Honorary life members will be people who have received the status of honorary life membership from the club as set out in subsection (4). Honorary life members will have all the responsibilities, rights and privileges of full membership, except the payment of membership fees.
- All members will be bound to a code of conduct as set out by the Southern Africa Cat Council.
- Full members will be able to propose the conferral of Honorary Life Membership on certain members who have rendered exceptional service to the club;
- The proposal, accompanied by a motivation, must be signed by a full member and seconded by another full member;
- The committee must consider this proposal; and
- The approval of the conveyance of Honorary Life Membership on a person by the committee must be ratified at the annual general meeting.
- The annual subscription shall fall on 1st January each year and any club member who fails to pay his dues by 31st March of each year, ipso facto, ceases to be a member of the club and his/her name shall be deleted from the membership roll. The committee shall have the power to reinstate such a member upon good cause being shown.
- No member of the club shall derive from the club any financial profit or gain apart from any honorarium or salary approved by the committee.
- It shall be competent for any member to resign on sending the honorary secretary written notification of his or her intention of doing so. Any member so resigning will not be entitled to the refund of any subscription that he or she may have paid to the club during his or her membership.
Article 6: Conduct Involving Termination of Membership
- The committee shall have the power to constitute a disciplinary committee, which, after an investigation or hearing, may reprimand, suspend or expel any member.
- whose conduct, either in or out of the club, was held by the committee to be injurious to the character, interest or well-being of the club or the Cat Fancy; or
- who has been found guilty of knowingly showing cats of poor health; or
- who has been found guilty of breach of the code of conduct of the Southern Africa Cat Council by its ethics committee;
- who has been found guilty of cruel or inhumane treatment of an animal; or
- who has engaged in fraud or misrepresentation with regard to a cat’s pedigree.
- Any member so charged shall be given notice of the allegations together with copies of all written evidence substantiating the charge. The member will have thirty (30) days to respond in his or her defence and shall be entitled to legal representation and to cross-examine and call witnesses.
- The offending party may appeal the decision to an appeals committee established for that purpose in terms of subsection (4).
- Should the offending party wish to appeal against the charge in terms of subsection (a) an appeals committee will be established. The appeals committee will consist of three (3) committee members and two full members chosen by the member charged. The decision of the appeals committee will be final. A record of the disciplinary proceeding must be made available to all the parties concerned and legal representation shall be permitted.
Article 7: Officers
The officers of the club shall comprise:
Patrons: up to eight (8) patrons may be elected. In the event of any patron discontinuing in this capacity, the vacancy may be filled by resolution of the committee.
Article 8: Committee
- The affairs of the club shall be managed by the committee.
- The committee shall be elected from the full members and shall comprise a chair, vice-chair, secretary, treasurer and a maximum of thirteen (13) and minimum of five (5) additional members of the club. The office bearers shall be elected by the committee.
- The committee shall be elected by ballot by the members of the club at the annual general meeting. The chair, vice-chair, secretary and treasurer shall serve for a period of one (1) year and shall be eligible for re-election.
- The voting procedure at the annual general meeting with regard to the election of the committee will be as follows:
- all fully paid-up, full members over the age of sixteen (16), including life members, are eligible to vote and the vote for the posts of committee members will be confidential.
- The votes can be in person, by proxy or by postal vote.
- The committee shall include a postal-vote form and a proxy-vote form with each notice of annual general meeting, to be sent to each paid-up full member twenty-one (21) days before the annual general meeting.
- The chair will nominate two or more “returning officers” from those present at the annual general meeting, to handle the voting for positions as committee members. The returning officers shall not be present committee members nor shall they be nominated committee members.
- The procedure for each form will be as follows:
- Postal votes : members voting by post shall return their voting paper, by due date, in a sealed envelope with his or her name on the back. All postal votes will be brought in their sealed envelopes to the annual general meeting by the secretary. The membership secretary shall ensure from his or her up-to-date list that each person whose name is on the back of the sealed envelope is entitled to vote. The envelope will be opened and the vote placed in a ballot box provided for the collection of all votes.
- Proxy votes : each member present at the meeting and holding proxy votes shall declare these to the returning officer. Each proxy vote will be checked against the membership secretary’s list to ensure the person is entitled to a vote and shall receive in return a voting form for each proxy vote. Once filled in, it must be given back to the returning officer and placed, sight unseen, in the ballot box.
- Ordinary members at the meeting will have their status checked by the membership secretary, who will have access to the attendance register at the door and thus verify that those present are eligible to vote. Each person will be given a voting form, which must be filled in and returned to the returning officer to be placed in the ballot box.
- The returning officers will then retire to count the votes.
- The returning officers are bound by secrecy from revealing any voting pattern or particulars of any vote. Breach of this section would be in contravention of the interests of the club in terms of article 6(1.1)
- Retiring office bearers or officers whose term of office has expired shall be eligible for re-election without nomination, provided that a list of such officers has been circulated to members at least 14 days before an Annual or Special General Meeting.
- Should there be no nominations other than the officers so standing then such officers shall be deemed to have been re-elected in terms of this constitution, provided their appointment has been confirmed by the Meeting aforementioned. Should there be any other nominations which have been properly submitted in terms of this constitution then the Meeting shall proceed to vote thereon in terms of this constitution
- In the event of the position of chair, vice-chair, secretary, treasurer or any of the additional committee members becoming vacant, the committee may, at their discretion, elect one of their number to serve in the necessary capacity for the remainder of such term of office.
- The committee will have the discretion to co-opt a member for a specific purpose for the duration of that task into any portfolio.
- The committee may not co-opt more than four (4) members at any given time.
- Any member of the committee failing to attend, without leave of absence or reasonable excuse, three consecutive committee meetings shall, ipso facto, cease to be a member of the committee.
Article 9: Honorary Veterinary Surgeons
One or more honorary veterinary surgeons shall be elected by members at the annual general meeting of the club.
Article 10: Duties of the Committee
- The Chair, who shall be the accounting officer, shall preside at all meetings and shall perform duties consistent with the office. He or she shall be a member, ex officio, of all committees, and shall appoint such special committees as may be necessary, with the approval of the committee.
- The vice-chair shall perform the duties of the chair in his or her absence or upon his or her resignation.
- The secretary shall be the recording and corresponding officer of the club and keep a record of all meetings. The minutes of all meetings of the club (not committee meeting minutes) shall be open to any member whose fees are fully paid-up at any reasonable time. The secretary shall perform any other duties consistent with the office.
- The membership secretary shall keep a roll of members with their addresses. He or she shall inform applicants of election to membership.
- The treasurer shall have custody of all monies of the club, open and operate a banking account in the name of the club, the signatories being the treasurer together with the chair or vice-chair, and keep book accounts of receipts and expenditures.
- The treasurer shall open an account for the deposit of Life Membership fees, interest alone of which shall be used for revenue expenditure. No capital withdrawals shall be made from such deposit except with approval of the members at an annual general meeting.
- All expenses properly incurred with the concurrence of the committee shall be paid by the treasurer out of the funds of the club. No individual shall be deemed to incur any personal liability in respect thereof.
- The treasurer shall render a financial report at committee meetings and an audited report at annual general meetings, which shall be posted to every member of the club together with the notice convening the annual general meeting.
- The financial books of the club shall be open for inspection to any member of the club whose fees are fully paid-up at any reasonable time.
- A qualified auditor, not being a member of the committee, shall be elected for the current year at each annual general meeting. Should such auditor be prevented for any cause from carrying out his duties, the committee shall appoint another in his stead. Such auditor shall examine the books, accounts and vouchers for the financial year and certify the financial statement which shall be presented at the annual general meeting.
- The committee shall have power to deal with any matter not provided for in the club constitution.
- Should the committee feel that workload justifies splitting a portfolio, this may be done.
Article 11: Dues
- The club’s financial year shall start on 1st January and finish on 31st December in each year.
- The annual membership fees for the different categories of members will be determined annually by the committee and ratified by the annual general meeting.
- Full or family membership taken out between 1st July and 31st December in any year will be reduced to half the amounts of full membership provided that the full subscription is paid in full and at the same time for the ensuing year; starting on 1st January.
Article 12: Meetings
- The annual general meeting of the club shall be held between 15th February and 31st March in each year, on such date and at such venue as may be decided upon by the committee. The agenda of an annual general meeting shall include the following:
- Confirmation of the minutes of the previous annual general meeting.
- Report by the chair.
- Treasurer’s report.
- Election of officers as provided for in the constitution
- And may include any other business with which an annual general meeting is empowered to deal in terms of the constitution. Full and precise details of such further business shall be placed on the agenda at the committee’s own motion or on the written requisition of a proposer and seconder, who must be members of the club in good standing, posted to the secretary in writing by not later than 1st January in each year.
- Extraordinary general meetings of the club may be called by:
- The chair at any time.
- The secretary after receipt by him of a request in writing to hold such a meeting, stating the nature of the business to be discussed and signed by a minimum of 10% of the members of the club entitled to vote. The secretary shall call such a meeting within twenty-one (21) days after receipt by him of the said request.
- Written notice of all annual general or extraordinary general meetings shall be sent to each member of the club at least twenty-one (21) days prior to the meeting, stating the business for which such meeting is to be held. Seven (7) days notice of committee meetings shall be given to committee members.
- The quorum for all annual general meetings of the club shall be twenty-five (25) club members entitled to vote. If, within a quarter of an hour from the time appointed for such annual general meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting may stand adjourned until further notice, but not later than twenty-eight (28) days. If at such an adjourned meeting a quorum is not present, those members who are present shall constitute a quorum and may transact the business for which the meeting was called.
- Members eligible to vote and unable to attend annual general or extraordinary general meetings of the club may use the postal voting form or appoint a club member, eligible to vote, to vote on their behalf, provided the club’s official proxy or postal voting form is signed and received by the secretary 48 hours before such meeting.
- Voting at any meetings of the club on all issues, other than the election of committee members, shall be by show of hands, postal vote or ballot, as the meeting may decide, except at the annual general meeting when the committee shall be elected by ballot, proxy and postal votes.
- Nominations for election at the annual general meeting, duly proposed and seconded by members in good standing and signed by the candidate, shall be posted to the secretary by not later than the 1st January of each year.
- At all meetings of the club, the chair alone shall have a second or casting vote as well as a deliberate one.
- The committee shall meet at least six times during each financial year.
- The quorum at all meetings of the committee shall be six (6) persons.
- No information on any annual general meetings, general meetings, extraordinary general meetings, committee meetings and sub-committee meetings of the club may be sent to the press without written consent of the committee.
Article 13: Amendments
The constitution may be amended only by a two-thirds majority of the full members eligible to vote and present at the annual general meeting or any general or extraordinary general meeting of the club, or who have submitted proxy votes, provided that the text of the amendment shall have been sent to each club member twenty-one (21) days before the meeting. All issues other than the amendment of the constitution will be decided by a simple majority vote.
Article 14: Dissolution
- The club may be dissolved should its membership fall beneath the number required by the Southern Africa Cat Council or should the members eligible to vote decide by means of a show of hands, ballot, proxy or postal vote at the annual general meeting or an extraordinary meeting to dissolve the club by a two-thirds majority.
- In the event of the committee deciding that the club be dissolved in terms of subsection 14(1), such decision shall be conveyed as a recommendation to either a general meeting or an extraordinary general meeting of members.
- If confirmed and agreed to dissolve the club in terms of subsection (1), a decision shall be taken at such meeting to realise all assets of the club and after paying all debts, pass the residue there from to the club’s successor nominated at the meeting. Failing any such successor it shall be competent for the meeting to donate or contribute such residual monies to any registered animal charity, to be used specifically for the welfare of cats.