The name of the Society is the Soil Science Society of South Africa (Grondkundevereniging van Suid-Afrika) hereinafter referred to as the "Society".
The general objective of the Society is to foster and promote the study of the soil in all its facets. This it shall do by:
- Creating opportunities for the free exchange of ideas between soil scientists in South Africa;
- Fostering liaison between the Society and other bodies with common or similar interests both in South Africa and abroad;
- Obtaining and disseminating knowledge, information and ideas pertaining to the soil by means of deliberations and publications;
- Promoting the work and interests of members of the profession;
- Encouraging scientific training in soil science;
- Fulfilling any other function that may be in the interests of soil science.
English and Afrikaans are the recognized languages of the Society. The business and proceedings of the Society may be conducted in either language, but for the convenience of members all notifications of the Society shall, as far as possible, be in both languages.
The Society consists of Honorary Members, Full Members, Associate Members, Student Members and Institutional Members (collectively referred to hereinafter as members).
An application for membership must be submitted on the prescribed form to the Secretary for consideration by the Council and must be supported by two Full Members in good standing acting as proposer and seconder. The signature of the applicant on the application form will be regarded as acknowledgement that, if elected, the applicant will be bound by the Constitution and decisions of the Society.
When a new member is elected he shall be liable for the full subscription of the current year, except when he is elected during the last three months of the year in which case he shall be required to pay the full subscription for the following year.
Any member may resign from the Society by submitting his registration in writing to the Secretary. Upon acceptance of such resignation by the Council, the person ceases to be a member, but remains responsible for payment of all arrear subscriptions or any other moneys owed to the Society.
If any member in the opinion of the Council purposely contravenes the Constitution of the Society or is guilty of improper or dishonest conduct contrary to the Society, or remains in default with respect to moneys owed to the Society after proper notice is given thereof, the Council is empowered to:
- permanently suspend such member;
- withhold all rights and privileges of membership from such member for such period duly considered by Council to be appropriate or advisable;
- request such member by way of the Secretary to resign, and should such member fail to do so within fourteen days of the date on which the request was issued, to suspend such member;request such member to appear before the Council for the purpose of explaining his conduct to members of Council and should such member fail to appear when requested to do so, to suspend him or deal with him in accordance with these articles.
Membership shall, following proper notification to the effect, be terminated should a member be in arrear with his subscriptions or other monies owed to the Society. Upon termination of membership for any reason whatever, the member shall remain responsible for the full subscription for the calendar year in which his membership terminates, as for payment of all arrear subscriptions or other monies owed to the Society.
Full Membership is limited to persons practising or who have practised, a soil science profession and who hold a four-year degree or its recognized equivalent in soil science, or persons who have been practising a soil science profession for at least three years and who hold a four-year degree or its recognised equivalent in the natural science, subject to approval of the application by the Council.
Associate Membership is limited to persons with acceptable academic or technical qualifications or appropriate experience and who have practised a soil science profession for at least three years, subject to approval of the application by the Council.
Student Membership is limited to full-time registered students of a university or technicon who do not qualify for Associate of Full Membership, subject to approval of the application by the Council.
a) Honorary Membership may be granted to a Full Member whom the Society wishes to honour by reason of meritorious services rendered to, and for the realization of the objectives of, the Society or by reason of his eminence in science.
b) Honorary Members shall be elected by a two-thirds majority vote of the Council, notice having been given at the previous Council meeting of the intention to consider such persons for Honorary Membership. A motivated proposal for Honorary Membership must be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Society. It must be signed by a proposer and a seconder each of whom must be Full Members in good standing. The election of Honorary Members shall, however, be announced only on the occasion of a General Meeting.
c) Honorary Members are not required to pay membership or congress registration fees.
Institutional Membership may at the discretion of the Council, be granted to an institution or organisation.
Retired Membership may at the discretion of the Council, be granted to Full Members that have retired from their work. They must at least have been a member in good standing of the Society for more than twenty (20) years to qualify for this category of membership. Such members do not pay membership fees, but still have all the privileges of Full Members.
All registered Members of the Society shall receive all notices, newsletters and publications of the Society, and may attend General Meetings and congresses of the Society.
An Institutional Member is entitled to nominate not more than two representatives who shall enjoy all the privileges mentioned in Article 16.
Only Full Members in good standing, the representatives of Institutional Members in good standing, and Honorary Members are entitled to vote at a General Meeting of the Society.
The affairs of the Society are managed by a Council, consisting of:
- The immediate Past-President of the Society
- The following elected members:
- A President
- A Vice-President
- Four ordinary Council Members
- A Secretary / Treasurer to be appointed by the Council
- One additional member, co-opted by the Council
Only Full Members of the Society may serve on the Council or its committees.
The Vice-President of the Society shall automatically become President of the newly elected Council after the expiry of one term in office as Vice-President.
The immediate Past-President shall automatically serve on a newly elected Council for one term, following which he shall retire and not be eligible for election to Council until one term has elapsed from the date of his retirement from the Council.
The Vice-President shall be elected out of the four serving ordinary Council Members as stipulated by Clause 22.1.
The ordinary members shall be elected as stipulated by Clause 22.2. An ordinary member shall serve for two terms of office after which he shall retire. Retiring ordinary members of the Council are eligible for re-election.
After four consecutive terms of office an ordinary member shall retire and not be eligible for election to Council until one term has elapsed from the date of his retirement from the Council.
The term of office of a newly elected Council commences immediately following the General Meeting at which the membership of such Council is announced.
A term of office shall be at least 18 months, but not more than 24 months.
The Vice-President shall be elected out of the four serving ordinary Council Members on a ballot list showing the full names of candidates, their occupations and addresses. The ballot list shall be sent out to all Full Members in good standing 50 days prior to the General Meeting and the duly completed list shall be returned to the Secretary so as to reach him not later than fourteen (14) days preceding the General Meeting, after which the scrutineers shall commence their duties. Each member entitled to vote shall have one vote for the Vice-President. In the event of the number of votes being equal for any two or more candidates, they shall be balloted again at the General Meeting by Full Members present.
The ordinary members of the Council are elected as follows:
- Nominations must be obtained from members.
- The notice calling for nominations for the Council, shall be sent 120 days prior to the date of the General Meeting to each Full Member of the Society who is not in arrear with his subscriptions and all such nominations duly signed by the proposer and seconder shall be lodged with the Secretary not later than 90 days prior to the date of the General Meeting.
- On receipt of the nominations, the Secretary shall notify each nominee and request his acceptance or otherwise of such nomination 60 days prior to the date of the General Meeting, and failing acceptance, such nomination shall be void.
- Should the nomination list of members to be elected to the Council not include the names of as many members as required to fill the vacancies arising on the Council, the Council shall nominate qualified members to complete the list, and the members nominated shall be declared elected at a General Meeting.
- The ballot list shall show the full names of candidates, their occupations and addresses. The ballot list shall be sent out to all Full Members in good standing 50 days prior to the General Meeting and the duly completed list shall be returned to the Secretary so as to reach him not later than fourteen (14) days preceding the General Meeting, after which the scrutineers shall commence their duties.
- Each member entitled to vote shall have one to four votes in respect of ordinary Council Members. The one to four candidates (depending upon the number of vacancies on the Council due to Clause 21(d) and taking into consideration that one of the serving ordinary members will be elected as Vice-President) who receive the most votes will be elected. In the event of the number of votes being equal for any two or more candidates, all of whom cannot be declared elected, they shall be balloted again at the General Meeting by the Full Members present.
- The Council shall, at its last meeting before the General Meeting, appoint from amongst Full Members not standing for election to the Council not less than three scrutineers. Their duties shall be to open and examine the ballot lists,and report the results of their count, which shall be final, to the Chairman at the General Meeting.
- In the event of any vacancy occurring on the Council during a term the Council has power to appoint a Full Member of the Society to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.
At a Council meeting a quorum shall be constituted by not less than one half of the members of the Council.
In the event of matters brought before the Council being decided by votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote.
Each member of the Council shall be accountable only in respect of his own acts and shall not be accountable for any act done or authorized to which he has not expressly assented.
The Council must meet at least once a year, at the request of the President or at least three Council Members.
The Council is empowered to execute the objectives and resolutions of the Society.
The President, or in his absence the Vice-President, shall take the Chair at General Meetings, Congresses and Council Meetings. In the absence of both these officers, the members present shall elect a chairman for the occasion.
The Council decides on applications for membership and exercises discipline.
The Council will keep and maintain a current Register of Members.
The Council determines the venue and date of all General Meetings, Congresses and any other meetings arranged by the Society, and sees to it that the proceedings are properly organized and minuted. The Council may arrange special meetings of the Society at short notice for conferences, reading of papers, lectures, symposia, etc.
All funds, assets and property, fixed or otherwise, of the Society, and the acquisition, administration or disposal thereof, shall be vested in the Council.
All money received by the Society shall be deposited, without undue delay, with such financial institution as the Council may decide upon. True accounts shall be kept of all money received and expended and of the assets and liabilities of the Society.
The Council shall determine the membership fees applicable to members. In the event of the Council having to control any trust money wholly or in part, and the constitution of such funds stipulate that they be controlled by Trustees, the Council shall appoint the Trustees of such funds.
The Council may employ persons and determine the renumeration or fees, if any, which shall be payable to members of the Society, officers or employees, as well as the nature of the disbursements which shall be refunded to members in connection with work done on behalf of the Society.
The Council, may, at its discretion, appoint committees for specific purposes and may co-opt other persons for this purpose.
The Council may authorize the establishment of branches of the Society. The constitution of a branch of the Society shall, however, not come into force or effect until it has been sanctioned by the Council.
The President shall submit to each ordinary General Meeting a report alternately in English and Afrikaans of the affairs of the Society and the Secretary/ Treasurer shall submit an audited statement of accounts for the preceding period. The Council appoints the auditors.
Only the Council, in the person of the President or a person to whom he has given his authorization, is empowered to make public statements on behalf of the Society.
The General Meeting of the Society shall be held at least biennially.
A Special General Meeting may be convened at any time for a specific purpose should the Council deem it necessary or at the written request of at least 20% (twenty percent) Full Members. Only the business for which a Special General Meeting has been called shall be dealt with by such meeting A Congress shall, whenever possible, be held with the General Meeting. The purpose of the Congress shall be the advancement of soil science by means of deliberations, papers, symposia, excursions, exhibitions or by any other means that the Council may determine.
Notices of General and Special Meetings and Congresses shall, together with the agenda, be posted to members not less than one month before the meeting. The non-receipt of such notice by a member shall not invalidate the proceedings of a meeting.
At General Meetings 20% (twenty percent) Full Members of votes shall constitute a quorum.
Subject to articles 18 and 54 of the Constitution, a majority of votes shall decide any matter before the General Meeting.
In the event of votes at any meeting being equal, the Chairman shall have a casting in addition to a deliberative vote.
The financial year of the Society extends from the first day of January to the 31st of December of that year.
Annual subscriptions become due and payable to the Treasurer on January 1st of each year and must be paid on or before March 31st of each year. Any member whose subscription is not paid by the end of March shall forfeit all privileges of membership.
Official receipts shall be issued for all money receive in the form of coins and notes.
The investment of all funds controlled by the Society shall be by resolution of the Council and all securities shall be registered in the name of the Society.
In case of any doubt to the meaning or import of any portion of the Constitution, the interpretation of the Council shall be final and binding.
This Constitution may be altered at a General Meeting or Special Meeting provided that due notice of the meeting specifying the nature of the alteration, deletion or addition, has been given to members in terms of article 45 and the votes of at least two-thirds of the members, present and entitled to vote, are recorded in favour of the amendment.
Notice of motion on any constitutional charge must reach the Secretary in writing, at least 60 days before the date of the meeting and must be seconded by at least two Full Members.
Should any circumstances arise necessitating the Council, in the interest of the Society, taking action not covered by the Constitution or a resolution of a General Meeting, the Council is authorized to take such action as may be necessary and it shall report the nature of such action to members as soon as possible.