Constitution


CONSTITUTION OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY

AS AMENDED AT THE BIENNIAL GENERAL MEETING

HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA, JUNE 2009

1. NAME

The name of the Society is THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, hereafter referred to as “the Society”.

2. AIMS

The Society aims to

2.1 further the study, knowledge and appreciation of history;

2.2 advance the academic tuition and training of historians;

2.3 encourage professional communication and co-operation between historians;

2.4 arrange for papers of common interest to be presented at conferences;

2.5 publish a journal containing contributions of a high academic standard.

3. MEMBERSHIP

3.1 Any person who is active in the field of history and who holds, or is obtaining, a post-graduate qualification in history or a related discipline may become a member of the Society.

3.2 At the discretion of the Council membership may also be granted to an applicant who does not have a postgraduate qualification but is in full-time professional employment as an archivist, historian, librarian, heritage consultant or museologist.

3.3 Applications for membership should be accompanied by a short curriculum vitae.

3.4 The Council may elect honorary members in recognition of their contribution to history and/or historical writing. Honorary members may participate freely in all activities of the Society, but are not eligible for election as members of the Council.

3.5 The membership of a person who has failed to pay his/her fees for a period of two years shall be deemed to have lapsed after he or she is sent a written warning.

4. MEMBERSHIP FEES

The Council will determine membership fees periodically.

5. COUNCIL

5.1 Composition

The Council will consist of:

5.1.1 a president, who will be eligible for re-election to a second successive term of office;

5.1.2 one or more vice-presidents;

5.1.3 a secretary;

5.1.4 a treasurer;

5.1.5 additional and/or co-opted members as required;

5.1.6 two editors of the South African Historical Journal, ex officio;

5.1.7 Vacancies which may arise before the termination of the Council’s two-year period of office will be filled by the Council.

5.2 Duties and functions

The Council will promote the interests of the Society and its members, and is specifically responsible for;

5.2.1 holding Council meetings periodically of which minutes should be kept. Under certain circumstances such meetings may be held telephonically or electronically;

5.2.2 managing and supervising the finances of the Society;

5.2.3 concluding agreements and/or entering into contracts in realising the aims and promoting the interest of the Society;

5.2.4 organising conferences and meetings;

5.2.5 approving applications for membership and appointing honorary members;

5.2.6 any other matter relating to the promotion of the aims, interests and image of the Society;

5.2.7 maintaining and preserving the records of the Society’s activities.

5.3 Election

The Council is elected by members of the Society at a general meeting held at every regular biennial national conference.

5.4 Term of office

The term of office of the Council is two years, extending from the termination of a biennial national conference to the termination of the subsequent biennial national conference.

6. SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL

6.1 Appointment of editor/s (or editorial team) and editorial board

The Council appoints the following:

6.1.1 an editor, or editors, or an editorial team, responsible for publishing the South African Historical Journal;

6.1.2 an editorial board, in consultation with the editorial team.

6.2 Term of office and responsibilities of editor/s (or editorial team) and editorial board

The Council will determine the term of office and responsibilities of the editorial team and the editorial board from time to time.

6.3 Business manager

If necessary, the Council may appoint a business manager or other functionary to manage the finances of, subscriptions to, and dispatch of, the South African Historical Journal.

7. FINANCES

7.1 In order for the Society to function the Council will obtain funds from:

7.1.1 membership fees;

7.1.2 sales of the South African Historical Journal;

7.1.3 conference fees;

7.1.4 donations and sponsorships.

7.2 The financial year of the Society extends from 1 January to the last day of December each year and annual subscriptions are based on this financial year.

7.3 The outgoing treasurer is responsible for the financial report until the end of the financial year.

7.4 The treasurer, or a duly nominated representative, shall maintain the accounting records which shall record all payments, receipts and investments. In this duty, the treasurer will be assisted by an Audit Committee consisting of two Society members who will examine the Treasurer’s books each year and report their findings to the Council as part of the Treasurer’s report. An account summarising the financial affairs of the Society for the past financial year shall be submitted to Council for approval, and then presented at the biennial general meeting or other suitable occasion.

8. CONFERENCE

8.1 The members of the Society will meet biennially for a national conference, as far as possible in rotation at the various university centres in Southern Africa.

8.2 If required, the Council can organise extraordinary conferences.

8.3 The Council may grant permission for holding regional conferences under the auspices of the Society.

9. LANGUAGE MEDIUM

9.1 The Society is a multilingual organisation.

9.2 With due regard to the need to be intelligible to one another, members may use the language of their preference.

10. QUORUMS

10.1 For national conferences/general meetings: one fifth of all registered members. Decisions shall be taken by majority vote.

10.2 Council meetings: one half of all members. Decisions shall be taken by majority vote, the President having the casting vote if there is an equal division.

11. NOTIFICATION OF MEETINGS

11.1 For national and regional general meetings: prior written notice of 30 days.

11.2 For Council and extraordinary conferences/meetings: prior written notice of 10 days.

12. ARCHIVES

12.1 The records of the Society shall be housed in a suitable formal archival repository.

12.2 Council may grant permission, in writing, to consult the records of the Society.

13. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

13.1 The constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority, either by voice vote or secret ballot, of a properly constituted national business meeting or of an extraordinary national meeting.

13.2 Notice by members of proposed constitutional amendments should reach the Council at least three calendar months before the specific meeting. Proposed changes should be supported by the signatures of at least three members.

13.3 Constitutional changes shall be submitted by Council to members for consideration at least 30 days before the specific meeting.

14. AFFILIATION

The Society endeavours to cooperate with, or where necessary and/or desirable affiliate with, similar national or international societies, providing that such cooperation and/or affiliation is compatible with the aims and functions of the Society.