Constitution

The South African Society for History Teaching (SASHT)

(An Association of History Educators, Organisations, Publishers and People interested in History Teaching as well as the educational dissemination of historical research and knowledge)

1. CONSTITUTION

1.1 There shall be constituted a body known as the SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY FOR HISTORY TEACHING (SASHT). The provisions herein contained shall be known as the Constitution of the Society, which provisions may be altered by a majority of those members present at a general meeting of members, considering that:

1.2 the precise terms of any proposed alteration shall be set out in the notice convening the meeting;

1.3 the purpose and objects of the Society shall not be altered without the consent of 66% of all the members.

2. OBJECTIVES

The objectives of the Society (since date of founding in 1986) shall be to assist its members in every possible way and in particular:

2.1 To improve the contact between educators of History training at tertiary level and teachers in the broad educational field.

2.2 To renew a training in the didactics of history education.

2.3 To utilise the expertise of educators teaching History to assist with the training of future history teachers.

2.4 To continuously debate the content of basic and advanced educational programmes in the training of history educators with the intention to continue to improve quality.

2.5 To make history educators and student teachers aware of the relationship between History as an academic discipline and the didactics and teaching of History at school level in order to keep abreast with development and academic debates.

2.6. To encourage educators of History to strive towards achieving and sustaining high academic standards in the teaching methodology and in the general knowledge of History as a discipline.

2.7 To make educators of History and student teachers in History aware of the relevance or “value” of History for the community and nation at large.

2.8 To explore, if the SASHT grows in membership, the idea of identifying and organising committees that can explore and develop certain fields in History to benefit all the educators of History in South Africa.

3. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 Membership shall consist of three types:

3.1.1 Individual membership (History educators or other academic-focused members from institutions) who are fully paid up members of the association (Annual fees will be determined by the Executive each year and communicated timely to members and potential members). The individual members representing an educational institution; will be eligible to vote or serve on the SASHT Executive and any committees/portfolios, and will receive electronic correspondence as well as a copy (twice annually) of the peer-reviewed, SASHT-connected Journal, Yesterday & Today.

3.1.2 Group membership (private organisations & publishers) that will pay an annual membership fee determined by the Executive Committee on a yearly basis which will include a membership provision of more than one individual. These members will be eligible to vote but not eligible to serve on the committees and only receive electronic correspondence as well as a copy (twice annually) of the SASHT-connected Journal Yesterday & Today.

3.1.3 Individual membership outside the borders of South Africa that will pay the annual fee as determined by the Executive Committee in Rand or in another currency as indicated on the SASHT membership form. The individual members will not be eligible to vote or serve on the Executive Committee (but could serve on other committees as occasionally identified, as well as on the Yesterday & Today editorial board) and will receive electronic correspondence as well as a copy (twice annually) of the SASHT-connected Journal, Yesterday & Today.

3.2 The following persons are eligible as members of the Society:

3.2.1 any History educator/organisation/publisher who subscribes to the objectives of the Society; and

3.2.2 is approved by the Executive Committee as a member.

3.3 Any member may resign by notice to the chairperson, the vice chairperson or the secretariat/treasurer. Such member remains liable for membership dues up to the date of receipt by the chairperson of the letter of resignation.

3.4 Membership will be held confidential, and it is up to individual members to disclose his or her membership to the general public.

4. MANAGEMENT

4.1 The interests of the Society shall be managed by at least a ten-member committee consisting of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson (when required), a secretariat and a treasurer (this position can also be combined into a secretary-treasurer position) and six to seven additional members as portfolio members and/or regional representatives. These members in the leading position of the SASHT shall hold the respective positions for a maximum of three years, after which they may be re-elected at an annual general meeting (usually to be held in September–October). Two additional members (the guest hosting a conference during the following year and a history educator abroad) may be nominated. The temporary Executive member hosting the next conference may be nominated fully on the Executive as well, but if not he/she only has a temporary executive position to smooth the conference organization process with efficient communication.

4.2 An election of new Executive Committee members for the SASHT Executive during an Annual General SASHT meeting should be conducted by one of the SASHT members or an executive member who has been nominated to undertake the task (and not the current chairperson or vice-chairperson). From the ten nominees fully accepted, the positions of chairperson and vice chairperson should be voted for by the elected SASHT Executive Committee that represents the vote of all the members.

4.3 A process of nomination and election becomes necessary if Executive Committee members have served a three-year term. Both new nominees and retiring committee members are eligible for re-election via e-mail one week prior to the annual SASHT conference. The secretariat manages the term of office of the SASHT Executive and sends out notifications to retiring/re-election status members (and invites new nominations, to be done formally and on the standard SASHT nomination form) a week prior to the SASHT conference. The list of new nominations//re-electable Executive Committee members will be formally dealt with during an annual AGM meeting.

4.4 Only fully paid-up members of the SASHT (and preferably only one member per institution in the Society) are eligible for election as Executive Committee members.

4.5 The SASHT Executive Committee may co-opt a member to the Committee in the event of a vacancy occurring for the remaining period of the term of office of the person who vacated the position OR the opening of a vacancy due to any other reason and with the consent of the rest of the SASHT Executive.

4.6 The Executive Committee of the Society may appoint sub-committees as it deems fit.

4.7 Each sub-committee or portfolio of the Executive Committee shall be chaired by a committee member and may consist of so many members as the committee may decide from time to time.

4.8 A sub-committee may co-opt any member to such sub-committee or portfolio.

5. MEETINGS

5.1 Committee Meetings

5.1.1 Committee meetings shall be convened by the secretariat/secretary-treasurer on the instructions of the chairperson or vice-chairperson or when four committee members jointly and in writing apply for such a meeting to be convened. Three committee members shall form a quorum. Most of the correspondence will be done via e-mail.

5.1.2 Meetings by the SASHT Executive Committee will take place BEFORE an annual SASHT conference and AFTER the conference has ended when new executive members have been elected.

5.1.3 Committee decisions shall take place by voting. In the event of the voting being equal the chairperson shall have a casting vote.

5.1.4 Should a committee member absent himself from two successive committee meetings without valid reason and/or not replying twice on e-mail requests in decision making, he/she shall forfeit his/her committee membership.

5.2 General Meetings

5.2.1 The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society shall take place during the annual SASHT Conference.

5.2.2 A special general meeting may be convened by the Executive Committee upon the receipt of a signed, written request of at least ten registered members of the Society which request must be accompanied by a full motivation for requesting such a meeting.

5.3 The Executive Committee may call a general meeting as it deems fit.

5.4 The following procedures shall apply to all general meetings:

5.4.1 A minimum of ten  members will form a quorum. In the absence of such a quorum, the members present may adjourn the meeting for a period of seven days where the members present at the adjourned date will automatically constitute a quorum.

5.4.2 Decisions shall be taken by a majority vote.

5.5 Finances

5.5.1 All the income of the Society shall be deposited in an account at a bank and/or other approved financial institution. One to two members, consisting of either the chairperson and/or the vice-chairperson and/or the secretary-treasurer if so arranged, shall be empowered to withdraw and deposit funds for the use of/on behalf of the Society.

5.5.2 Any amount that must be withdrawn, and exceeds the amount of R3,000 should beforehand be properly communicated among the two to three empowered Executive members (namely the chairperson, the vice chairperson and, if a position of treasurer exist, the treasurer). All these aforesaid empowered executive members should be able to exercise their signing right (to withdraw and deposit funds) on behalf of the SASHT in the absence of a/the treasurer, but with the consent and approval of the core SASHT Executive.

5.5.3 Proper accounts shall be kept of all finances of the Society as set out in the regulations published in terms of the Fundraising Act, 1978.

5.5.4 A financial report shall be produced by the Executive or Secretary-treasurer (the latter if appointed as such) at the annual general meeting or upon request from the SASHT Executive Committee. Otherwise a full general account at least should be provided in the Chairperson’s report.

5.5.5 Financial contributions will be collected from all persons and/or organisations, worldwide, which support the objectives of the Society.

5.5.6 A guest SASHT conference organiser(s)/Society member involved, is shall be accountable for transferring the remaining income obtained from organising an annual conference into the SASHT bank account, as part of the effort of the SASHT to strengthen its financial capacity. Any contributions, towards the covering of conference expenses by the Society are on a strictly voluntary basis.

6. RIGHT TO VOTE

Each individual subscribed member (and one member of a subscribed institution) has one vote at any meeting.

7. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

Any amendment to this Constitution shall only be effected by a two thirds majority decision at a general meeting or special general meeting and further provided that seven days’ prior notice was given of the proposed amendment. Notice is to be given in the same manner as a notice for a general meeting.

8. DISSOLUTION

8.1 The Society may dissolve, or merge, with any other association with similar purposes and objectives in each case only:

8.1.1 On a resolution passed by the majority of members present at a duly constituted general or special general meeting of members; or

8.1.2 On an application to a court of law by any member on the ground that the Society has become dormant or is unable to fulfil its purpose and objectives,

8.1.3 On a merger, the assets of the Society shall accrue to the Society/Association with which the merger is affected.

8.1.4 On dissolution, the assets of the Society shall be realised by a liquidator appointed by the general meeting or the court, as the case may be, and the proceeds shall be distributed equally amongst such Societies/Associations with similar objects as may be nominated by the last Executive Committee of the Society.

9. MISCELLANEOUS

9.1 Every Executive member/ordinary member of the Society shall be entitled at all reasonable times to inspect all books of account and other documents of the Society which the custodian thereof shall accordingly be obliged to produce.