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The Chamber of Engineering Technology

 

CONSTITUTION

 

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

In 1968 statutory recognition and registration for engineers by the South African Council for Professional Engineers (SACPE) was introduced. Persons who did not hold a 4-year university degree were excluded.

Discussions started in 1976 to have the Act amended. This eventually resulted in the establishment of the first Board of Control for Engineering Technicians (BOCET) in November 1983.

Around the same time the voluntary Affiliation of Societies Representing Engineering Technicians (ASRET) was born. An umbrella body consisting of member societies, the South African Engineering Association (SAVI), in which ASRET was represented, was then established. It was found that both bodies had federal structures. ASRET thus had to change to a body consisting of individual members. It then regrouped into the Association of South African Registered Engineering Technicians (ASARET).

The statutory Boards of Control and SACPE were joined into one statutory body, the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) by Act of Parliament in 1990.

Lacking the support of the institutes, SAVI became effectively defunct in 2000. ASARET continued to grow.

In 1993 ASARET and the Institute for Engineering Technology (IVIT) amalgamated to form The Chamber of Engineering Technology (COET) in late 1994.
The Chamber has grown over the years and now includes it’s division, the Lifting Equipment  Engineering Association of South Africa (LEEASA) under its wing.

The Chamber in its various forms and under some previous names has been active since 1984!!

 

DEFINITIONS

 

“The Association” shall mean the Chamber of Engineering Technology. “Member” shall mean members of the Association in all the categories of honorary members, members, associates, graduates, students and retired members.

 

“Members” shall mean the categories of honorary member, member, retired member.

 

“The Statutory Registering Authority” (hereinafter referred to as “the SRA”) shall mean the Engineering Council of South Africa or its successor in title.

 

“The Council” shall mean the body elected to manage the affairs of the Association referred to in Section 4 hereof and who may only be elected out of Members. “Council Members” or “Members of Council” shall bear the same meaning.

“The Finance Committee” shall mean the committee referred to in Section9, which manages the finances of the Institute and “Committee” shall bear the same meaning.

 

The Association was previously known as the “Association of South African Registered Engineering Technicians (ASARET).” References in this constitution to the Association shall be understood to also refer to ASARET as far as it may be necessary to do so.

 

Competent Person shall mean a competent person in terms of the relevant Act and Regulations.

 

The following abbreviations shall mean;

 

ECSA                     Engineering Council of South Africa

SRA                        Statutory Registering Authority” (ECSA)

CBE                        Council for the Built Environment.

 

  1. NAME.

 

The name of the Association shall be “The Chamber of Engineering Technology (COET & / or CET).

 

2. MAIN OBJECTIVE.

 

The Main Objective of the Association shall be to promote the advancement of engineering professionals and practitioners in the engineering profession and industry (hereinafter referred to as “the practitioners”) and the science of engineering technology.



3. ANCILLARY TO THE MAIN OBJECTIVE.

 

Supporting the Main Objective are the following Ancillary Objectives

 

3.1           To advance the practitioners by:

3.1.1        representing practitioners on a national and international basis;

3.1.2        liaising with theSRA on all matters, including on policy matters, concerning the Profession and Practitioners;

3.1.3        assuring the recognition of registered practitioners

3.1.4        enhancing the practitioners, technical and ethical reputation of the registered practitioners.

 

3.2           To further and promote education and training and to encourage development of engineering practitioners by:

3.2.1        liaising with educational bodies including tertiary educational institutions;

3.2.2        liaising with employers and service providers.

3.2.3       promoting and encouraging Continuous Professional Development

 

3.3           To advance and uphold the dignity and status of the profession and practitioners by obtaining recognition from:

3.3.1        all spheres of society;

3.3.2        statutory bodies and Government;

3.3.3             the engineering profession.

 

3.4           To promote research and encourage the writing and presentation of workshops and papers, on matters pertaining to the science of engineering.

 

3.3.4            To deal with and engage in all matters concerning and relating to the profession, practitioners and industry.

 

4. THE COUNCIL OF THE ASSOCIATION.

 

4.1           The management of the Association shall be vested in the Council of the Association. Only members of the Association shall have voting rights in Council.

 

4.2.1            The Council shall consist, at least, of the following members listed hereunder. Members of the Association will elect them at the Annual General Meeting. The following Council members will form the Executive Committee;

The Chairperson;

Two Vice Chairpersons;

The Secretary;

The Treasurer
Two ordinary members

The Immediate Past-Chairperson is not voted into office, as the post shall be automatic by reason of the member’s holding past office. The position shall continue for the period described below. Postal votes may also be used.

In any election at the Annual General and / or a Special General and /or Committee meetings, Company members voting rights will be restricted by the following rules.

 

4.2.2            Company members have voting rights but may never out vote individual members on any matter. This is to limit the possibility of the association being run by company members as the association is meant mainly for individual persons.

4.2.3            Company members may not vote on any matter relating to the change of the Constitution.

 

4.3           The normal term of office of council members shall be two years. The term of office of the Vice-Chairpersons shall be one year but they may be eligible to be re-elected for another term.

 

4.4           The Immediate Past-Chairperson remains in office until the election of a new chairperson.

 

4.5           The Chairman shall hold office for a period not exceeding two consecutive years, in addition to the years that the member has already served as member of Council.

 

4.6.1            Council may co-opt, by unanimous vote of a quorum present at a Council meeting, a Member of theAssociation to replace a council member who is unable to complete their term of office. Such co-opted member shall serve until the end of the annual session of Council.

 

4.6.2            The three council members with the longest years of service on Council shall retire each year. Notwithstanding such retirement any retired Member of Council may stand for re-election.




4.6.3            Representatives of interested parties, who are non-members, may be elected to Council as observers as described by the Byelaws. The election will be held annually at the Annual General Meeting. Non-members shall not have voting rights.

 

4.6.4     Should the need arise the Council may co-opt members of the civil community with a proven interest in matters pertaining to engineering practitioners as advisors to the Council. Their term of office shall normally not exceed one year. The Association may advertise in the press to fill these positions.

 

  1. POWERS OF COUNCIL

 

The Council shall, for purposes of conducting its business, have the power to:

 

5.1     appoint officials and determine their duties, responsibilities and functions;

5.2     appoint paid officials and determine their duties, responsibilities and functions and remuneration. No member elected to serve on Council or any of it's committees may be paid any remuneration, however reasonable costs incurred by the incumbent may be claimed and paid if Council has approved such expenses before they have been incurred.

5.3     acquire and sell movable and immovable property;

5.4     enter into contracts of lease;

5.5     enter into contracts of a general nature;

5.6     determine fees to be paid by Members and to collect funds, donations and sponsorships in order to achieve Council’s objectives;

5.7     invest any moneys collected as Council deems fit;

5.8     identify categories of membership of the Institute;

5.9     approve a Code of Ethics and Practice and Rules of Conduct for recognition by the Practitioners and observance by Members;

5.10   convene an ethics committee for purposes of inquiring into alleged misconduct on the part of a Member;

5.11   publicise the objectivesof the Association in any media;

5.12   make representations to the SRA in the interests of the practitioners;

5.13   nominate Members to the SRA and its committees if asked to do so.

5.14   make Rules and By-laws for compliance by members and for purposes of good administration;

5.15   constitute committees of Council for purposes of undertaking work assignments for Council, appoint committee members, determine the term of office of committee members and terms of reference of any committee together with the number of committee members that constitute a quorum;

5.16 establish a Finance Committee to manage and administer the finances of the Association if so desired, determine levels of remuneration for services rendered to Council, appoint a Chair and other members to the Finance Committee, determine their term of office and the number of members of the Finance Committee that constitute a quorum;

5.17      empower the Executive Committee, referred to in Clause 4.2.1, to conduct the day-to-day business of and directional planning for the Institute.

5.18      negotiate affiliation with or allow other bodies with similar interests to affiliate with the Chamber and/or become Divisions of the Chamber.

 

 

6. DELEGATION OF POWERS OF COUNCIL

 

6.1           Council may delegate to a committee, established in terms of Clause 5.15 hereof, any powers which it deems fit to delegate, including but not limited to powers to formulate rules and by-laws, but may not divest itself of any responsibilities that it has delegated.

 

6.2                 Notwithstanding the delegation of powers referred to herein Council shall also be responsible for acts and omissions of any committee to which power has been delegated and may amend, vary or revoke any such decision or resolution.

 

6.3     Committee members shall, in the first instance, be members of the Association unless it is necessary to appoint, as a committee member, a non-Association member by reason of such non-members special knowledge or experience; provided always that the Chairperson shall be appointed from among Council Members.

6.4     The Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of all committees notwithstanding that he/she may not have been specifically appointed to such committee.

  1.  LIABILITY OF COUNCIL AND OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

Council Members, elected in terms of Clause 4.2.1 hereof, committee members of any committee, appointed in terms of Clause 5.15 hereof, or officials appointed in terms of Clause 5.1hereof, shall be indemnified by the Association against any loss, expense or damage arising out of the discharge of their duties; provided that such loss, expense or damage cannot be attributable to any negligent or wilful act or omission on the part of such Council Member, committee member or official and provided further that any such act or omission was done in good faith and for the purposes of achieving the objectivesof the Association.


8. CONDUCT OF COUNCIL AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

8.1     The Chairperson shall serve as the Chairperson of Council. In his absence the Chair shall be occupied by one of the Vice-Chairpersons and in the absence of all of them, Members of Council shall elect a Chairperson from among members present, provided that there is a quorum present.

 

8.2     Notwithstanding that the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson may be present at a meeting of a committee of Council, members of the committee may elect a Chairperson from among members present, subject to there being a quorum and provided that such Chairperson is a Member of Council.

 

8.3    A quorum at Annual General and / or Special General meetings shall be 10% of the members. A Quorum of Council shall be fifty percent of members of Council and for a committee of Council fifty percent of the members appointed to the committee by Council. In the event of a quorum not being present by the time advertised for the meeting to commence its business, the Chairperson shall adjourn the meeting for 30 minutes or to a time and day that he/she may direct. At this new meeting, provided that at least 1% of the members are present, the meeting will be considered duly constituted.

 

8.4     Matters shall be decided by majority vote, on a show of hands or ballot, of fifty percent plus one of a quorum of Council or of a committee of Council. Chairperson of the Council or of a committee of Council shall, in the event of a deadlock being reached, have a casting vote, in addition to the initial vote cast by show of handsor ballot. Company members voting rights are restricted as per clauses 4.2.2 and 4.2.3.

 

8.5     Notices and agendas of meetings shall under normal circumstances be served on Council Members and on committee members at least two weeks prior to a scheduled meeting. In case of extraordinary or emergency circumstances a shorter period of notice may be acceptable.

 

8.6     Proper minutes of meetings of Council and of committee’s of Council shall be kept and distributed to Council and committee members prior to or at the same time that notices and agendas of forthcoming meetings are distributed.

 

8.7     The form of conduct of meetings of Council and of committees of Council shall mutatis mutandis apply to the conduct of meetings of the Finance Committee referred to in Section 9 hereof.

  1. FINANCE COMMITTEE

 

A Finance Committee, established in accordance with the provisions of Clause 5.16 hereof, shall control, administer and manage the finances of the Association, derived in terms of Clause 5.6 hereof, in accordance with requirements of the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

 

In order not to affect its tax-exempt status, the following requirements, as laid down by the SARS, shall be observed by the Association and may not be changed without the written consent of the Commissioner of Revenue Services.

 

Financial Control:

 

9.1  Council shall, in accordance with the provisions of clause 5.16 hereof, appoint at least three (3) members to the Committee, including a Chair and the Treasurer, provided that the number of members including the Chair shall not be less than three and further provided that the Chairperson may not be appointed as Chair. Members of the Committee shall hold office for no longer than two years, but, subject to the provisions of Clause 4.4 hereof relating to the Chairperson, any member of the Committee may stand for re-election.

 

9.2    Under no circumstances shall financial control be vested solely in the Chairperson, the Chair or in any one person in particular. The Chair of the Committee shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions contained herein.

 

9.3    The Committee shall determine fair and reasonable remuneration for services rendered to the Association by paid appointees. Council and committee members may not receive remuneration for service rendered, as they are volunteers. The Committee may, however, reimburse at cost any person, including Council and Committee members for any reasonable expenses actually incurred while undertaking work on behalf of the Association.

 

9.4     All assets, property and funds of the Association shall be held and registered in the name of the Association. The Committee shall, in addition to the powers identified in Clauses 5.3 to 5.7inclusive, have the power to raise and borrow money, secure payment of money and lend money, open and operate a banking account/s, as it deems fit, for the purposes of conducting the affairs of the Association.

 

9.5       An auditor appointed annually by the Council, who may but need not necessarily be a Chartered Accountant, shall audit the accounts of the Association at least once a year. No Council member, committee member or officer appointed by Council of the Association may be appointed as auditor.

 

9.6       All documents, cheques or other instruments relating to the finances of the Association shall be signed, on behalf of the Association, by at least two persons, duly authorised thereto by a resolution of the Committee.

 

9.7     An annual financial report on the affairs of the Association shall be made available to its members, together with an audited statement of revenue and expenditure and a balance sheet as accepted at the Annual General Meeting, at the end of each financial year.

 

9.8     Interim financial reports shall be submitted to Council at least at four-monthly intervals.

 

9.9     The Association shall not carry on any profit making activities nor shall it participate in any business, profession or occupation conducted by any of its members. It shall not provide any financial assistance, premises, continuous services or facilities to any of its members for the purpose of their conducting any business of their own. The council, at its sole discretion, may make donations to organisations, which it regards as being beneficial to its members and/or the engineering profession.

 

10. MEMBERSHIP OF THE ASSOCIATION

 

10.1       The Association shall consist of the following categories of members: Honorary Members, Registered Members, Retired Members, Associate Members (Not Registered with SRA), Company Members and Students. The names of all categories of Members shall be entered in the register of the Association. Honorary Members, Registered Members, Retired Members, Associate Members, shall be voting Members having voting rights and shall be eligible to serve on Council. Company Members shall be voting members subject to Clauses 4.2.2 and 4.2.3. Students will not be eligible to these rights but may be co-opted to Council.

 

10.1.1      Retired Member:

A Member of the Association, who has been a Member in good standing with the Association for at least five (5) consecutive years, who has attained the age of sixty (60) years and, who is no longer actively engaged in the engineering industry, or a Member with similar status of any age, who has had to retire permanently from work due to ill health; or retrenched and over the age of fifty five (55), may, at the discretion of the Council, be appointed a Retired Member.

 

10.1.2         Student:

A Student shall, at the time of acceptance, be engaged in pursuing a course acceptable as a requirement for registration with the SRA.

 

The membership fees of students shall be adjusted to the equivalent of an Associate member after three (3) years have elapsed subsequent obtaining the minimum qualification for the category of Student and they shall be advised accordingly. This will be done automatically unless a student has formally applied to be upgraded to the category of Associate, or has been granted an extension of time in which to remain in the student category by Council.

 

10.1.3      Associate:

An associate is a person who is not registered with the SRA.

 

10.1.5      Registered Member:

                A Registered Member is a person who is registered with the SRA as a professional / practitioner and not a candidate.

 

10.1.6      Honorary Member:

The election to the category of Honorary Member shall only be by invitation of Council. The candidate shall be a person whom the Association specifically wishes to honour at the time of the election to honorary Member.

 

The appointment of honorary member shall be in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Byelaws.

10.1.7         Company Member:
A company member is a legally - constituted corporation classed as a juristic person that is in business of advising, supplying, designing, servicing, training or maintaining engineering equipment that are recognised as making acceptable contributions to the industry and the aims of the association.

10.1.8         Application:
Every application for membership shall be made on such a form/s, as the association shall, from time to time, prescribes.

 

10.2            A member may resign from the Association by submitting a written resignation, together with their Membership Certificate, to the Association, but shall remain liable for any outstanding fees due to the Institute.

 

10.3            The name of a member who has resigned from membership of the Association shall be removed from the register of the Association.


10.4            Any member who has resigned their membership of the Association may apply for re-admission, but shall be liable for the payment of at least the past two years of any outstanding fees.

 

10.5            Membership of the Association shall not confer upon any member any right to a share of or participation in any assets belonging to the Association.

 

10.6            Any member may have their membership cancelled or suspended, in accordance with the provisions of the By-laws dealing with non-payment of subscriptions or disciplinary matters, and punishments that may be imposed. A member whose membership has been cancelled or suspended shall have the right to appeal to Council. The decision of Council shall be final.

 

10.7            Every member of the Association shall conduct themselves in a manner, which upholds the dignity, standing, reputation and integrity of the Association and shall subscribe to the code of professional conduct as laid down by the SRA and the code of ethical conduct laid down by the Association.

 

10.8            ABREVIATED TITLES
These will apply only to individual members as defined herewith. Abbreviated titles shall not apply to Company members or Student member.
 

Honorary Members                                               HM-COET
Registered Members                                             RM-COET
Retired Members                                                   M-COET (Ret)
Associate Members                                              AM-COET

 

  1. BRANCHES AND SECTIONS

 

11.1        The Association may, at its discretion, after receipt of a written request signed by at seven (7) Members resident in a specific area, form a branchof the Association in such an area. The affairs of branchesshall be conducted as laid down in the By-laws promulgated in terms of this constitution.

 

  1. 2      The Association may form sections within the Association, to encourage the presentation of papers and discussions or workshops on technical or other subjects of specific interest to Members. The affairs of such sections shall be conducted as laid down in the By-laws promulgated in terms of this constitution.

 

  1. LIQUIDATION, AFFILIATION OR AMALGAMATION

 

12.1      The Association may be wound up and liquidated, or amalgamated, with any body having the same or similar objectives as the Institute, by resolution of Members at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose. Notwithstanding votingby a show of hands or ballot referred to elsewhere in this constitution postal votes shall be counted at such meeting. Adoption of the resolution shall require not less than two-thirds of total votes cast by Members by a show of hands or ballot including postal votes.

 

12.2         If, upon the winding up or the dissolution of the Association there remains, after the settlement of all debts and liabilities, any assets, such assets shall not be paid to or distributed amongst the Members of the Association. The assets shall be transferred to some other body having the same or similar objectives as the Association and which is exempt from liability for tax as is the Association. In the absence of any body, referred to herein to which assets can be transferred, assets shall be transferred to an engineering bursary fund or tertiary engineering education institution as determined on the basis set out in Clause12.1

12.3         The Association may enter into an affiliation with any association which the Executive Committee is satisfied has similar aims and objectives and has a comparable constitution to that of the Association.

 

  1. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION

 

13.1      This Constitution can only be amended by resolution of Members at an Annual or Special General Meeting called for that purpose. Notwithstanding votes by a show of hands referred to elsewhere in this constitution, postal votes shall be counted at such meeting. Adoption of the resolution shall require not less than two-thirds of votes cast by members by a show of hands or ballot including postal votes of Members.

 

13.2      Any amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Services as defined in Section 9 if required.                                                                                                                    COETConstitionVerFive2010

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