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Monday , July , 24 2017
Download the Constitution of THE NATIONAL UNION OF MINEWORKERS
As amended by 2009 National Congress and approved by the Registrar of Labour Relations on 28 March 2011.

1 CHARACTER OF THE UNION

1.1 Name
The name of the union is the National Union of Mineworkers, abbreviated as “NUM”.

1.2 Colours
The colours of the union are red, gold and black.

1.3 Scope
The union will operate as a Trade Union in the Mining, Energy Construction and Allied Industries.

1.4 Legal Status

1.4.1 The union is a body corporate with perpetual succession.1 The union can in its own name:

1.4.1.1 enter into contracts;

1.4.1.2 sue; and

1.4.1.3 be sued.

1.4.2 The union shall hold property apart from its members.

1.4.3 The liability of individual members is limited to the amount of their outstanding subscriptions or other monies due to the union.

1.4.4 The union is an association not for gain.

1.5 Structure
The union consists of the following structures:

1.5.1 Shaft Stewards and Shaft or Workplace Committees;

1.5.2 Education, Health and Safety and Women’s Committees;
1[This means that the union is a structure which remains constant - with its own separate legal personality - despite changes in membership. Members may come and go but the union remains constant. The union’s legal personality allows it as structure, rather than the individual members, to become involved in legal transactions.]

1.5.3 Branch Committees;

1.5.4 Branch Conference;

1.5.5 Regional Committees;

1.5.6 Regional Conference;

1.5.7 National Executive Committee (“NEC”);

1.5.8 Central Committee; and

1.5.9 National Congress.

1.6 Location of Head Office
The NEC determines from time to time the location of the Head Office.

1.7 Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the union are:

1.7.1 to recruit and unite into a single labour organisation all workers employed in the mining, energy, construction and allied industries in order to enhance their economic and social welfare;

1.7.2 to improve the wages, salaries and terms and conditions of employment of members through collective bargaining and other lawful means;

1.7.3 to protect the job security of members;

1.7.4 to advance the employment prospects of members;

1.7.5 to improve the political, social, economic interests and material welfare of former, current and prospective members of the union, workers and labour organisations generally;

1.7.6 to foster unity and co-operation amongst all workers in the mining, Construction and energy industries and other industries;

1.7.7 to establish contacts and relationships with other trade unions, trade union federations and labour organisations nationally and internationally for the benefit of members; and

1.7.8 to do all other lawful things which are in the interest of the union and its members and which are consistent with this Constitution.

2 MEMBERSHIP

2.1 Eligibility
Subject to the approval of the Branch Committee which has jurisdiction, membership of the union is open to all workers who are:

2.1.1 employed in the mining, energy, construction and allied industries;

2.1.2 about to enter employment in such industries; or

2.1.3 elected office bearers of the union.

2.2 Entitlement to Benefits

2.2.1 Only members in good standing are entitled to the benefits of membership.

2.2.2 Members in good standing are members who are not more than 3 months in arrears with their subscription fees.

2.2.3 Members who are between 3 and 6 months in arrears with their subscription fees remain members of the union subject to the approval of the branch but are not entitled to the benefits of membership.

2.2.4 Members who are more than 6 months in arrears lose their membership.2
2[Take note however of clause 2.7.3 which deals with the rights of members whose membership has been terminated by an employer.]

2.3 Application Procedure

2.3.1 Workers must apply for union membership to the Branch Committee with jurisdiction over the area where they are employed or are about to be employed, or if there is no Branch Committee with jurisdiction, to the Regional Committee with jurisdiction.

2.3.2 The Branch Committee, Regional Committee or NEC may reject any application if it is of the opinion that the worker is not a fit and proper person to be a member of the union.

2.4 Appeal Procedure against refusal of membership

2.4.1 If the Branch Committee rejects an application for membership, the worker may appeal against the decision at the next meeting of the Regional Committee.

2.4.2 The worker must lodge the appeal with the Regional Secretary in writing at least 7 days before the meeting.

2.4.3 The worker may appear personally at the meeting to argue the appeal.

2.4.4 The decision of the Regional Committee is final, for a period of 12 months.

2.4.5 After 12 months an unsuccessful applicant for member- ship may apply again to the Branch Committee.

2.5 Associate Membership

2.5.1 The NEC may confer associate membership of the union on:

2.5.1.1 persons who are not employed in the mining, energy construction or allied industries but who have professional expertise or qualifications relevant to these industries or to the union;

2.5.1.2 students registered for qualifications in respect of professions, trades or occupations relevant to the mining, energy, construction or allied industries;

2.5.1.3 persons who have made a particular contribution to the union or whose work advances the aims and objectives of the union or similar aims and objectives.

2.5.2 Associate members may:

2.5.2.1 be admitted to official proceedings of the union as observers; and

2.5.2.2 be assigned to perform duties on behalf of the union.

2.5.3 Associate members may not:

2.5.3.1 vote on union matters; or

2.5.3.2 stand for election for any position in the union.

2.6 Honorary Membership

2.6.1 The NEC may confer honorary membership of the union on any person in recognition of a special contribution to the union or its members, or to the mining, energy, construction or allied industries.

2.6.2 Honorary membership may be conferred posthumously.

2.6.3 Honorary members may be admitted to official proceedings of the union as observers.

2.6.4 Honorary members may not:

2.6.4.1 vote on union matters; or

2.6.4.2 stand for election for any position in the union.

2.7 Termination of membership

2.7.1 Resignation by member

2.7.1.1 Any member may resign from the union after giving one months written notice to the Branch Committee.

2.7.1.2 The member must pay all amounts owing to the union.

2.7.2 Suspension or Expulsion by Branch Committee

2.7.2.1 If a Branch Committee is of the opinion that a member has conducted himself or herself in a manner which is harmful to the interests of the union or its members then the Branch Committee must hold an inquiry into that member’s conduct.

2.7.2.2 The member must be given an opportunity to present his or her case at such an inquiry.

2.7.2.3 The Branch Committee may therefore decide: to excuse the member; suspend the member for a fixed period on such conditions as they deem fit; or expel the member.

2.7.2.4 Within 7 days of the Branch Committee notifying the member of the disciplinary action they have chosen the member may lodge an appeal to the Regional Committee with jurisdiction.

2.7.2.5 The union may suspend or expel a member provided it follows the procedures set out in annexure 3.

2.7.2.6 Members may not be disciplined or have their membership terminated for failure or refusal to participate in a strike if:

2.7.2.6.1 no ballot was held about the strike; or

2.7.2.6.2 a ballot was held, but the majority of the members who voted did not vote in favour of the strike.3
3[Requirement of the new LRA - Section 95(5)(q).]

2.7.3 Labour Disputes or Unfair Dismissals

2.7.3.1 If an employer terminates a member’s employment as a result of a labour dispute or under circumstances which the Branch Committee believes are unfair, that member remains a member of the union:

2.7.3.1.1 for a period of 6 months from the date of termination; or

2.7.3.1.2 until legal proceedings challenging the dismissal have been finalised.

2.7.3.2 The member is exempt from paying subscription fees until he or she is re-employed or reinstated, or until the Branch Committee so determines.

2.7.4 Termination of associate or honorary membership

2.7.4.1 The NEC may, on reasonable grounds, terminate associate or honorary membership at any time.

2.8 Re-admission
Any member who has resigned or who has been expelled from membership may be re-admitted to the union if that member complies with the conditions determined by the Branch or Regional Committee.

3 SUBSCRIPTIONS

3.1 Entitlement to Benefits

3.1.1 Only members in good standing are entitled to the benefits of membership.

3.1.2 Members who are in good standing are not more than 3 months in arrears with their subscription fees.

3.1.3 Members who are between 3 and 6 months in arrears with their subscription fees remain members of the union but are not entitled to the benefits of membership.

3.1.4 Members who are more than 6 months in arrears lose their membership.

3.2 Amount

3.2.1 The National Congress sets the subscription fees from time to time.

3.2.2 Subscription fees must not be more than 1% of a member’s basic monthly pay.4
4[A member’s basic monthly pay means their pensionable basic remuneration.]

3.3 Collection and Banking of Subscriptions

3.3.1 Members including elected office bearers must pay their subscription fees monthly and in advance to the union.

3.3.2 The union must issue receipts immediately for these fees unless check-off facilities are in operation.

3.3.3 The union must keep a record of the contributions of each member.

3.3.4 All amounts received for membership subscriptions and other amounts due to the union from members must be deposited in a national banking account no later than 5 days after receipt thereof.

3.4 Exemptions from Subscriptions
The Branch Committee may exempt a member from paying subscriptions if that member has been unable to work on account of illness for a continuous period of 3 months.5
5[See too clause 2.7.3 for further exemptions.]

4 WORKPLACE STRUCTURES

4.1 Election of Shaft Stewards

4.1.1 Union members in good standing may elect stewards from amongst themselves to hold office for 3 years.

4.1.2 Only members who are committed to the union, its constitution and its aims and objectives may be elected as shaft stewards.

4.1.3 The Branch Committee overseas the election of the stewards.

4.2 Election Procedure

4.2.1 Members in good standing may nominate and second candidates for positions of stewards.

4.2.2 If a candidate is the only nomination for a work section, then the candidate becomes the particular steward in that work section.

4.2.3 If there is more than one candidate for the position, then the members must vote, and the candidate who receives the most votes will be duly elected.

4.2.4 Shaft or Workplace Committee elections must be held once in every three years.

4.2.5 Shaft or Workplace Committee members must hold office until the next election, when they may be eligible for re-elections.

4.3 Composition of Shaft or Workplace Committees

4.3.1 At every mine shaft or workplace where the union has a minimum of 50 members the members may elect a Committee. The Regional Committee may require the shaft or workplace where the union has less than 50 members to elect a Committee. The members must elect the Committee from amongst all the stewards at the shaft or workplace

4.3.2 A Shaft or Workplace Committee should consist of 5 or more stewards representing the various work sections in which the union has members at that particular shaft or workplace.

4.4 Meetings
The Shaft or Workplace Committee should meet at least once a week.

4.5 Functions

4.5.1 The functions of the Shaft or Workplace Committee are:

4.5.1.1 to conduct the affairs of the union at shaft or workplace level;

4.5.1.2 to receive and attend to complaints affecting members concerning their employment, and where necessary to report such complaints to the Branch Committee; and

4.5.1.3 to report any improper employment practice, or contravention by employers of statutes, to the Branch Committee.

4.5.2 The Shaft or Workplace Committee must establish a Women’s Sub-Committee to promote the equality of women and the interests of women members.

4.6 Workplace or Shaft General Meetings

4.6.1 The Shaft or Workplace Committee must call a workplace or shaft general meeting at least six times per annum.

4.6.2 The Workplace or Shaft Committee must call a general meeting at least three months before the Branch Conference.

5 BRANCH STRUCTURES

5.1 Establishing a branch

5.1.1 A branch may be formed:

5.1.1.1 where there are 100 members; or

5.1.1.2 where there are less than 100 members if the Regional Committee directs that a branch be established. A Regional Committee may form a branch out of one or more workplaces or direct members to join an existing branch. The NEC may establish directives or guidelines for the establishment of branches.

5.2 Accountability

5.2.1 The Regional Committee with jurisdiction must supervise the conduct of the Branch affairs.

5.2.2 The Branch must not do anything which is inconsistent with the decisions or policies of the National Congress, Central Committee, NEC or Regional Committee, or

5.2.3 The provisions of this Constitution or its by-laws.

5.3 Composition
A Branch Committee consists of the:

5.3.1 Chairperson;

5.3.2 Deputy Chairperson;

5.3.3 Secretary;

5.3.4 Deputy Secretary;

5.3.5 Treasurer;

5.3.6 Chairperson and Secretary from each Shaft or Workplace Committee;

5.3.7 Chairperson and Secretary of the Branch Education Sub-Committee;

5.3.8 Chairperson and Secretary of the Branch Health and Safety Sub-Committee; and

5.3.9 Chairperson and Secretary of the Branch Women’s Sub-Committee.

5.4 Electing Branch Committee Office Bearers

5.4.1 Members in good standing may nominate and second candidates for office bearer’s positions. This does not apply to the Chairperson and Secretaries of the Shaft or Workplace Committees, Education, Health and Safety Committees and Women’s Committees, who are appointed by virtue of the office they hold.

5.4.2 Unless provided otherwise by the Regional Committee and except in the case of a new branch, only workers who have been members in good standing for a continuous period of 3 years may be elected as branch office bearers.

5.4.3 If a candidate is the only nominee for a position, then that candidate becomes the particular office bearer.

5.4.4 If there is more than one candidate for the position, then the members must vote by ballot, and the candidate who receives the most votes will be duly elected.

5.4.5 If the ballot results in a tie for most votes received, the members must vote by ballot again until a candidate receives the most votes. The candidate who receives the most votes will be duly elected.

5.4.6 In the event that the position of a branch office bearer falls vacant, a new office bearer must be appointed in an acting capacity by the Branch Committee to fill the vacancy until the next branch conference. No more than 2 office bearers may be appointed to a vacancy in this way.

5.4.7 In the event that 3 or more branch office bearer positions fall vacant, the Regional Committee must convene a special branch conference in order to fill the vacancies.

5.5 Period of Office
Branch Office Bearers hold office for 3 years or, in the case of an office bearer appointed to fill a vacancy, for the unexpired portion of the term of office of the vacating office bearer.

5.6 Branch Committee Meetings

5.6.1 The Branch Committee must meet at least once every 2 weeks.

5.6.2 A majority of the committee members constitute a quorum.

5.6.3 Decisions must be taken by majority vote and the Chairperson has a deliberative and casting vote.

5.6.4 If within one hour of the time fixed for any meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting must stand adjourned to the same day, time and place in the following week (and if that day is a public holiday then the next succeeding working day) and at the adjourned meeting the members present shall form a quorum.

5.6.5 The Secretary must notify in writing, members who were absent, about the adjourned meeting.

5.6.6 The Secretary must keep minutes of the meetings.

5.7 Powers and Functions of Branch Committee
These are:

5.7.1 to manage the affairs of the union at the mine or other workplace;

5.7.2 to deal with labour disputes at the mine or other workplace level;

5.7.3 to deal with members’ grievances so as to protect their job security, and employment prospects;

5.7.4 to establish health and safety, education and women’s subcommittees;

5.7.5 to generally promote the interest of members;

5.7.6 to ensure that proper communication takes place between itself and the Shaft or Workplace Committees, and the Regional Committee; and

5.7.7 to do all lawful things which in the opinion of the Branch Committee:

5.7.7.1 are in the interest of the union and members;

5.7.7.2 are not in conflict with the decisions of the Regional Committee with jurisdiction;

5.7.7.3 further the aims and objectives of this Constitution; and

5.7.7.4 are necessary to carry out its functions.

5.8 Branch General Meeting

5.8.1 Branch general meetings must be held at least once every month.

5.8.2 Decisions at general meetings must be taken by majority vote.

5.8.3 The Secretary must keep minutes of the meetings.

5.9 Branch Conferences

5.9.1 Every 3 years a Branch must hold a branch conference.

5.9.2 This conference must take place before the regional conference.

5.9.3 The Regional Committee will determine the number of delegates to the branch conference. Each workplace, shaft or section will be entitled to a proportionate number of delegates relative to the number of members that they each have.

6 ESTABLISHING REGIONAL STRUCTURES

6.1 The union may be composed of a number of geographical regions.

6.2 The NEC must determine the boundaries from time to time.

6.3 As soon as two or more branches are established in a geographic region, the NEC must convene that region’s first Regional Conference.

7 REGIONAL CONFERENCE

7.1 Convening The Regional Committees of the union must convene a regional conference once every three years before the National Congress.

7.2 Delegates

7.2.0.1 Each branch can send up to 50 delegates. The number must be based on the proportion of each branch’s membership relative to the region’s total membership.

7.2.0.2 Each delegate must be a member in good standing.

7.3 Planning for the Regional Conference

7.3.1 Three months prior to the holding of a Regional Conference, the Regional Committee must determine the number of delegates for each branch on the basis of their membership. This number is based on:

7.3.1.1 the proportion of the branch’s membership relative to the Region’s total membership.

7.3.1.2 the membership records of each branch held at the Regional Office or National Office.

7.3.2 The Regional Secretary must inform Branch Committees of the convening of the Regional Conference at least two months before it is held and of the number of voting delegates for each branch, which is determined by the formula set out in sub-clause 7.3.1.

7.3.3 The branch must:

7.3.3.1 one month before the Regional Conference send nominations for the Regional office bearers to an independent electoral commission established by the Regional Committee;

7.3.3.2 at least 21 days before the Regional Conference send their resolutions to the Regional Secretary.

7.3.4 The Regional Secretary must send to all Branch Committees at least 10 days before the Regional Conference:

7.3.4.1 copies of the resolutions; and

7.3.4.2 the Regional Conference Agenda.

7.4 Policies: Each Regional Conference must formulate policies and programmes for its particular region consistent with the constitution, policies and programmes of the National Congress, the Central Committee and the NEC.

7.5 Election of Regional Committee

7.5.1 Delegates must elect by ballot a Regional Committee, except for the branch chairpersons and secretaries and the chairperson and secretary for women who are by virtue of their position, members of the Regional Committee.

7.5.2 Unless otherwise determined by the National Congress or Central Committee only the following members may be nominated and elected to regional office bearer positions:

7.5.2.1 members who have served as office-bearers at branch, regional or national level; or

7.5.2.2 members in good standing for a continuous period of 5 years.

7.5.3 If a candidate is the only nominee for a position, then that candidate becomes the particular office bearer.7.5.4 If there is more than one candidate for a position, then the delegates must vote by ballot until a candidate receives the most votes. The candidate who receives the most votes will be duly elected.

7.5.5 If the ballot results in a tie for most votes received, the delegates must vote by ballot again and the candidate who receives the most votes will be duly elected.

7.5.6 Subject to sub-clause 7.5, the ballot must be in held accordance with the procedures prescribed in this Constitution.6
6[See clause 19 for more information on ballot procedures.]

7.5.7 The Regional Committee members hold office until the next Regional Conference and are eligible for re-election.

7.5.8 In the event that the position of a regional office bearer falls vacant, a new office bearer must be appointed in an acting capacity by the Regional Committee to fill the vacancy until the next Regional Conference. No more than 4 office bearers may be appointed to fill a vacancy in this way.

7.5.9 A regional office bearer elected in terms of this sub-clause 7.5 may not concurrently hold office as a branch office bearer elected in terms of sub-clause 5.2. This prohibition does not apply to a regional office bearer appointed in an acting capacity as contemplated in sub-clause 7.5.8.

7.6 Meeting Procedures

7.6.1 The Regional Chairperson presides over the conference.

7.6.2 Resolutions must be adopted by the majority of delegates present and voting.

7.6.3 Delegates vote by a show of hands unless the conference decides otherwise.

7.6.4 The Regional Chairperson has a deliberative casting vote.

7.6.5 The Regional Secretary must keep minutes of the conference.

7.7 Regional Women’s Conference

7.7.1 The Regional Committee must convene the Regional Women’s conference in accordance with the procedures, rules and directives of the NEC.

7.7.2 The Regional Women’s Conference must formulate policies and programmes for its particular region to promote the equality of women and the interests of women members and must elect the Regional Chairperson, Secretary for Women, Deputy Chairperson, Deputy Secretary and Treasurer.

8 REGIONAL COMMITTEE

8.1 Composition
A Regional Committee consists of a:

8.1.1 Chairperson;

8.1.2 Deputy Chairperson;

8.1.3 Regional Secretary;

8.1.4 Deputy Regional Secretary;

8.1.5 Regional Treasurer;

8.1.6 Chairperson and Secretary of each Branch Committee;

8.1.7 Deputy-Chairperson for Education

8.1.8 Deputy-Chairperson for Health and Safety;

8.1.9 Deputy-Secretary for Education;

8.1.10 Deputy-Secretary for Health and Safety; and

8.1.11 Chairperson and Secretary for Women.

8.2 Period of Office

8.2.1 The Regional Chairperson will be seconded to serve the union in a full-time capacity during his or her term of office, but remains employed by his/her employer.

8.2.2 The Regional Secretary will be seconded to serve the union in a full-time capacity during his or her term of office, but remains employed by his/her employer.

8.3 Meetings

8.3.1 The Regional Committee must meet at least 6 times per annum.

8.3.2 A majority of committee members present constitute a quorum.

8.3.3 Decisions must be taken by majority vote and the Chairperson has a deliberative and casting vote.

8.3.4 If within one hour of the time fixed for any meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting must stand adjourned to the same day, time and place in the following week (and if that day is a public holiday then the next succeeding working day) and the members at the adjourned meeting shall form a quorum.

8.3.5 The Regional Secretary must notify in writing members who were absent about the adjourned meeting.

8.3.6 The Regional Secretary must keep minutes of the meetings.

8.4 Functions and Powers The functions and powers of a Regional Committee are:

8.4.1 to recruit members in a particular region and to promote their interest generally;

8.4.2 to organise regional conferences;

8.4.3 to prepare the regional delegation to the National Congress;

8.4.4 to organise regional events with regard to trade union education and training;

8.4.5 to establish health and safety, education and women’s subcommittees;

8.4.6 to supervise the affairs of branch committees, and all other Ad-hoc committees;

8.4.7 to ensure that proper communication takes place between branches, Regions and Head Office;

8.4.8 to open, operate and close banking accounts in the name of the Region subject to the approval, and ultimate control of the NEC;

8.4.9 to acquire either by purchase or lease or otherwise any movable or immovable property within the region’s area on behalf of the union;

8.4.10 to sell, let, mortgage or dispose or otherwise deal with any movable or immovable property belonging to the union, but no immovable property shall be let or leased for a period longer than 5 years unless the transaction has the approval of the NEC;

8.4.11 to do all lawful things which, in the opinion of the Regional Committee appears to be in the interest of the union and which are:

8.4.11.1 not in conflict with the decisions and policies of the National Congress, Central Committee and NEC;

8.4.11.2 not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution or its by-laws; and

8.4.11.3 necessary to perform its functions; and

8.4.12. to organise regional events with regard to health and safety and related matters.

8.5 Duties

8.5.1 The Regional Chairperson must:

8.5.1.1 preside at all meetings of the Regional Committee;

8.5.1.2 ensure that this Constitution is upheld at all times.

8.5.2 The Deputy Regional Chairperson must:

8.5.2.1 exercise the power and perform the duties of the Chairperson in the latter’s absence;

8.5.2.2 assist the Chairperson in the discharge of his or her duties.

8.5.3 The Regional Secretary must:

8.5.3.1 deal with all Regional correspondence;

8.5.3.2 issue official receipts for all monies received;

8.5.3.3 submit financial reports to the Regional Congress;

8.5.3.4 ensure that proper books of accounts are kept and that they are audited annually;

8.5.3.5 ensure in general that all legal requirements and controls in respect of the financial matters are adhere to;

8.5.3.5.1 supervise the employees of the union; and

8.5.3.5.2 ensure that a register of members is maintained.

8.5.4 The Deputy Regional Secretary must:

8.5.4.1 assist the Regional Secretary in the discharge of his/her duties; and

8.5.4.2 exercise the power and perform the duties of the Regional Secretary in the latter’s absence.

8.5.5 The Regional Treasurer:

8.5.5.1 must assist the Regional Secretary in keeping proper books of accounts; and

8.5.5.2 has the right to inspect records relating to the finances, books and assets of the union.

9 NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC)

9.1 Purpose
The NEC manages the affairs of the union by:

9..1.1 executing union policies as determined by the National Congress and the Central Committee;

9..1.2 carrying out the day-to-day running of the union; and

9..1.3 doing such lawful things which in its own opinion furthers the interests of the union and its members and are consistent with the provisions of this Constitution.

9.2 Composition
The NEC consists of the following positions:

9.2.1 President;

9.2.2 Deputy President;

9.2.3 General Secretary;

9.2.4 Deputy General Secretary;

9.2.5 Treasurer;

9.2.6 Chairperson of each Regional Committee;

9.2.7 Regional Secretary from each Regional Committee;

9.2.8 National Chairperson for Education;

9.2.9 National Secretary for Education;

9.2.10 National Chairperson for Health & Safety;

9.2.11 National Secretary for the Health & Safety;

9.2.12 National Chairperson for Women; and

9.2.13 National Secretary for Women.

9.3 Period of Office

9.3.1 The term of office of the NEC is three (3) years.

9.3.2 The NEC holds office until the election of the next NEC at the National Congress.

9.3.3 Members of the NEC are eligible for re-election on the termination of their period of office.

9.4 Meetings

9.4.1 The NEC must meet at least 6 times per annum.

9.4.2 A majority of the NEC members constitute a quorum.

9.4.3 If within one hour of the time fixed for any meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting must stand adjourned to the same day, time and place in the following week (and if that day is a public holiday then to the next succeeding working day) and the members present at the adjourned meeting form a quorum.

9.4.4 The General Secretary must notify members in writing who were absent about the adjourned meeting.

9.4.5 Decisions are made by a majority vote.

9.4.6 The President has a deliberative and casting vote.

9.5 Functions

9.5.1 The NEC’s personnel functions are:

9.5.1.1 to decide what employment posts should be created, maintained or terminated for the effective running of the union;

9.5.1.2 to determine terms and conditions of employment;

9.5.1.3 to employ and dismiss any employee of the union subject to its disciplinary code and procedure; and

9.5.1.4 to appoint a Deputy President, Deputy General Secretary, Acting General Secretary, Acting President, Treasurer, National Chairpersons for Education, Health and Safety and Women and the National Secretaries for Education, Health and Safety and Women if any of these persons are unable to carry out their functions and in special circumstances a person who is not a member of the NEC may be appointed to these positions.

9.5.2 The NEC’s financial control functions are:

9.5.2.1 to generally control the funds and finances of the union in a manner consistent with the union’s aims and objectives;

9.5.2.2 to open, operate and close banking accounts on behalf of the union;

9.5.2.3 to borrow or raise monies and funds;

9.5.2.4 to invest, spend or otherwise use monies and funds in a manner which furthers the union’s aims and objectives, and to take decisions on the retention of the services of specialists who advise the NEC on these financial matters;

9.5.2.5 to allocate float amounts and other funds to the respective regions;

9.5.2.6 to approve the establishment of distinct legal entities and to allocate funds (through loans or otherwise) to such entities;

9.5.2.7 to ensure that any separate legal entity established by the union which receives union funds, is audited annually by a Public accountant and that such audit is presented to the NEC and made available to members for inspection;

9.5.2.8 to take all appropriate steps to form, operate and terminate funds, schemes and trusts which serve the interest of the union or its members;

9.5.2.9 to acquire either by purchase or lease or otherwise any movable or immovable property on behalf of the union;

9.5.2.10 to sell, let, mortgage or dispose or otherwise deal with any movable or immovable property belonging to the union including dispositions of funds to a Provident Fund, Pension Scheme or Trust which serves the interest of the union and its members;

9.5.2.11 to acquire, let or lease immovable property;

9.5.0.12 to impose special levies on members;

9.5.0.13 to deal with fraudulent behaviour, theft and members who bring the union into disrepute.

9.5.3 The NEC’s disciplinary functions in respect of members, office-bearers and elected officials are:

9.5.3.1 to implement the disciplinary code and procedure for the disciplining of members, office-bearers and elected officials as set out in annexure 3 to this constitution; and

9.5.3.2 to approve a procedure which provides for the reinstatement of members, office- bearers and elected officials.

9.5.5 The NEC’s rule making functions are:

9.5.4.1 to design election procedures;

9.5.4.2 to design ballot procedures, subject to the provisions of Clause 19 below;

9.5.4.3 to design inquiry procedures; and

9.5.4.4 to design meeting procedures.

9.5.5 The NEC:

9.5.5.1 must establish health and safety and education and women’s committees;

9.5.5.2 may set up other sub-committees; and

9.5.5.3 may determine the powers and functions and composition of sub-committees.

9.6 Legal Proceedings

9.6.1 The NEC may initiate or defend legal proceedings on behalf of the union and any of its members.

9.6.2 In urgent circumstances the General Secretary or Deputy General Secretary may initiate or defend such proceedings.7
7[see clause 17 for authorisation of legal proceedings concerning labour disputes.]

10 CENTRAL COMMITTEE

10.1 Purpose
The Central Committee considers and decides upon policy issues of major importance between National Congresses.

10.2 Composition

10.2.1 The Central Committee consists of the members of the NEC and the Regional delegates.

10.2.2 The NEC will determine the number of Regional delegates that each regional committee may send to the Central Committee. The number determined by the NEC must be proportionate to the number of the union’s total membership.

10.3 Meetings

10.3.1 The President or, in his or her absence, the Deputy President or, in their absence a person appointed by the NEC must preside over the Central Committee meeting.

10.3.2 The General Secretary must keep minutes of the meeting.

10.3.3 A meeting of the Central Committee must be held annually, but may be convened whenever:

10.3.3.1 the NEC requests one; or

10.3.3.2 a majority of Regional Committees request one.

10.3.4 The request, and a notice setting out the reasons for the request, must be sent to the General Secretary at the Head Office.

10.3.5 The General Secretary must convey the request to the President as soon as possible, who must refer it to the NEC for decision. After considering the request, and the reasons provided for it, the NEC must decide whether a special Central Committee meeting should be convened.

10.3.6 If the NEC decides that a special Central Committee meeting should be convened, the President must determine the date and venue of the meeting and the General Secretary must notify the Regional Committees as soon as possible and by the best practical means in the circumstances.

10.4 Quorums

10.4.1 A quorum is made up of 50% plus one of the expected delegates.

10.4.2 If within one hour of the time fixed for any meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting must stand adjourned to the same day, time and place in the following week (and if that day is a public holiday then to the next succeeding working day) and the members present at the adjourned meeting shall form a quorum.

10.4.3 The General Secretary must notify in writing members who were absent about the adjourned meeting.

10.5 Voting

10.5.1 Decisions are made by majority vote.

10.5.2 The voting strength of each Regional Committee’s delegation is based on:

10.5.2.1 the proportion of Region’s membership relative to the union’s total membership; and

10.5.2.2 the membership records of each Region held at the Head Office.

10.5.3 The President has a deliberative and casting vote.

10.6 Minutes
The General Secretary must keep minutes of all the Central Committee meetings.

11 NATIONAL CONGRESS

11.1 Purpose
The National Congress is the supreme governing body of the union.

11.2 Composition

11.2.1 The National congress consists of delegates determined by each region.

11.2.2 The NEC determines the number of delegates that each region may have in accordance with the formula specified below.

11.3 Planning for the National Congress

11.3.1 During July of the year prior to the holding of the Congress, the NEC must determine the voting strength of each regional delegation on the basis of their membership. This number is based on:

11.3.1.1 the proportion of the region’s membership relative to the union’s total membership; and

11.3.1.2 the membership records of each region held at Head Office.

11.3.2 The General Secretary must inform the Regional Committees of the convening of the National Congress at least two months before it is held; and of voting strength of each region which is determined by the formula set out above in sub clause 11.3.1.

11.3.3 The regions must:

11.3.3.1 send nominations for the 9 office bearers to an independent electoral commission decided by the NEC at least one month before National Congress; and

11.3.3.2 send their resolutions to the General Secretary to reach his or her office at least twenty-one days before National Congress.

11.3.4 A nomination referred to in sub-clause 11.3.3.1 must be seconded by at least one other region.

11.3.5 The General Secretary must send to all Regional Committees at least 10 days before National Congress:

11.3.5.1 copies of the resolutions; and

11.3.5.2 the National Congress agenda.

11.4 Convening the National Congress 
The National Congress must be convened once every 3 years. The NEC may decide to convene a National Congress within 6 months at the expiry of 3 year period.

11.5 Presiding over National Congress
The President or, in his or her absence, the Deputy President or, in the latter’s absence, a person appointed by the NEC, must preside over the proceedings at the National Congress.

11.6 The Main Business of National Congress
At National Congress the delegates must:

11.6.1 consider the address of the President, and the reports of the General Secretary and the Treasurer, and other special reports;

11.6.2 assess the union’s progress;

11.6.3 formulate policy;

11.6.4 elect office bearers (President, Deputy President, Treasurer General, National Chairperson for Education, National Chairperson for Health and Safety, National Secretary Education, National Secretary Health and Safety) and elect officials (General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary); and

11.6.5 approve amendments to this Constitution.8
8[See clause 22 for further details.] and casting vote.

11.7 Resolutions

11.7.1 Resolutions must be adopted by a majority vote of voting delegates.

11.7.2 Voting shall be by a show of hands unless the National Congress decides otherwise.

11.7.3 The President or the presiding person has a deciding

11.8 Electing Office Bearers and Officials

11.8.1 Unless otherwise determined by the National Congress only the following members may be nominated and elected to national office bearer positions:

11.8.1.1 members who have served as office-bearers at branch or regional level; or

11.8.1.2 members in good standing for a continuous period of 7 years.

11.8.2 Regions with voting rights may nominate and second candidates from the floor for the positions of office bearers and officials on the NEC, except for the positions of Regional Chairperson and Regional Secretary who hold positions on the NEC by virtue of their positions.

11.8.3 A candidate nominated in terms of sub-clause

11.8.2 who was not nominated as contemplated in sub-clause

11.3.3.1 must be seconded by a majority of the regions.

11.8.4 Only officials who have been members of the union before are eligible for nomination and election to the positions of General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary.

11.8.5 If there is only 1 candidate for a position, that candidate is regarded as having been duly elected.

11.8.6 If there are 2 candidates, delegates must vote by ballot, and the candidate who receives the most votes shall be duly elected.

11.8.7 If there are 3 or more candidates, two or more ballots must be held so that the candidates who receive the least votes in each ballot must be eliminated from the next ballot.

11.8.8 If the ballot results in a tie for most votes received, the delegates must vote by ballot again until a candidate receives the most votes. The candidate who receives most votes will be duly elected.

11.9 Special National Congress

11.9.1 A Special National Congress may be convened if:

11.9.1.1 the Central Committee or the NEC requests one; or

11.9.1.2 a majority of Regional Committees request one.

11.9.2 The written request and a notice setting out the reasons for the request must be sent to the General Secretary at the Head Office.

11.9.3 The General Secretary must convey the request to the President as soon as possible, who must refer it to the NEC for decision. After considering the request, and the reasons provided for it, the NEC must decide whether a Special National Congress should be convened.

11.9.4 If the NEC decides that a Special National Congress should be convened, the President must determine the date and venue of the meeting and the General Secretary must notify the Regional Committees as soon as possible and by best practical means in the circumstances.

11.9.5 If the request is urgent, the President may allow for a Special National Congress at short notice, but not less than 7 days notice.

11.10 National Women’s Conference

11.9.1.2 The NEC must convene the National Women’s Conference in accordance with the procedures, rules and directives of the NEC.

11.9.1.2 The National Women’s Conference must formulate policies and programmes to promote the equality of women and the interests of women members and must elect the National Chairperson, Deputy-Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy-Secretary and Treasurer for Women.

12 DUTIES OF THE OFFICE BEARERS AND OFFICIALS

12.1 President

12.1.1 The President must preside at all meetings of the National Congress, the Central Committee, and the NEC.

12.1.2 The President must ensure that this Constitution is upheld at all times.

12.2 Deputy President

12.2.1 The Deputy President must exercise the power and perform the duties of the president in the latter’s absences.

12.2.2 The Deputy President must assist the President in the discharge of his or her duties.

12.3 General Secretary

12.3.1 Election

12.3.1.1 Delegates attending the National Congress elect the General Secretary.

12.3.1.2 The General Secretary holds office until the election of the next General Secretary at the next National Congress.

12.3.1.3 The General Secretary is eligible for re- election.

12.3.1.4 The General Secretary has no voting rights in these meetings.

12.3.2 Meetings

12.3.2.1 The General Secretary must attend all National Congresses, Central Committee and NEC Meetings.

12.3.2.2 The General Secretary must take proper minutes at these meetings.

12.3.2.3 The General Secretary may speak at meetings but may not vote.

12.3.3 Functions
The General Secretary’s functions are:

12.3.3.1 to deal with all Head Office correspondence.

12.3.3.2 to issue official receipts for all monies received;

12.3.3.3 to submit financial reports to the National Congress;

12.3.3.4 to ensure that proper books of accounts are kept and that they are audited annually;

12.3.3.5 to ensure in general that all legal requirements and controls in respect of the financial matters are adhered to;

12.3.3.6 to supervise the employees of the union;

12.3.3.7 to ensure that a register of members is maintained; and

12.3.3.8 to perform such duties as are imposed by the National Congress, the Central Committee, the NEC, this Constitution and its by-laws.

12.4 Deputy General Secretary

12.4.1 The term in sub clause 12.3.1 (election) and

12.3.2 (meetings) apply to the Deputy General Secretary.

12.4.2 The Deputy General Secretary:

12.4.2.1 must assist the General Secretary in the discharge of his or her duties; and;

12.4.2.2 must exercise the power and perform the duties of the General Secretary in the latter’s absence;

12.4.3 may speak at meetings but may not vote.

12.5 Treasurer - General

12.5.1 The Treasurer - General must assist the General Secretary to keep proper books of accounts.

12.5.2 The Treasurer - General has the right to inspect records relating to the finances’ books and accounts of the union.

13 NON-ELECTED OFFICIALS

13.1 The NEC may appoint non-elected officials from time to time.

13.2 In general non-elected officials are responsible for the recruitment and consolidation of the union’s membership.

13.3 Non-elected officials must attend Shaft, Branch, Regional Committee and Central Committee meetings as well as the National Congress.

13.4 Non-elected officials may speak but do not have the right to vote at meetings and congresses.

14 DISCIPLINE AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE OF OFFICE BEARERS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS AND DISCIPLINING OF MEMBERS

14.1 NEC AND Office Bearers

14.1.1 If in the opinion of the NEC, an office bearer who serves on the NEC or a Regional Committee has behaved in a manner which is detrimental to the interests of the union and its members, it may resolve:

14.1.1.1 to remove him or her from office; or

14.1.1.2 to impose such penalty as it sees fit.

14.1.2 When disciplining an Office Bearer the NEC must follow the disciplinary code and procedure that is annexure 3 to this constitution.

14.1.3 The individual concerned may appeal against such decision (which must remain in force until the appeal is determined).

14.2 Shaft Stewards and Branch Office Bearers

14.2.1 If in the opinion of the relevant disciplinary body, shaft steward or an office bearer who serves on a Branch or Shaft or Workplace Committee has behaved in a manner detrimental to the interest of the union and its members, it may resolve:

14.2.1.1 to remove him or her from office; or

14.2.1.2 to impose such penalty as it sees fit.

14.2.2 When disciplining an office bearer the disciplinary code and procedure that is annexure 3 to this constitution must be followed.

14.2.3 The individual concerned may appeal against such decision (which remains in force until the appeal is determined).

14.3 Removal or Reinstatement by Ballot

14.3.1 NEC Member or Office Bearer
If the majority of members request the General Secretary in writing, for a ballot of members to determine whether or not an NEC member or office bearer should be removed from office, or reinstated (if such person has been removed), then the NEC must arrange to hold that ballot.9
9[See clause 19 for ballot procedures.]

14.3.2 Office Bearer

14.3.2.1 If the majority of members request the General Secretary in writing for a ballot of members to determine whether or not an Office Bearer of a Region, Branch or Shaft I Workplace Committee should be removed from office or reinstated (if such person has been removed), then the NEC must arrange to hold that ballot.

14.3.2.2 If the Office Bearer serves or has served in a Regional, Branch or Shaft I Workplace Committee then the ballot must be conducted amongst members in that particular region, branch or shaft (as the case may be).

14.3.3 This sub-clause 14.3 does not apply where the disciplinary proceedings contemplated in annexure 3 have been followed.

15 FINANCES

15.1 The funds of the union must be applied solely in furtherance of the union’s aims and objectives.

15.2 The NEC controls the union’s finances.

15.3 The funds received for the union by the General Secretary or other agents of the union, must be deposited within 5 days of receipt in a National or Regional banking account.

15.4 All cheques for the National account, must be co-signed by any 2 of the following persons: The President, Deputy President, Treasurer, General Secretary or Deputy General Secretary.

15.5 All cheques for a Regional account must be co-signed by any 2 of the following persons: the Regional Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Secretary, Deputy Secretary or Treasurer.

15.6 The NEC can allocate float amounts and other funds to a region from time to time.

15.7 The date of the union’s financial year end is 31 December.

16 COUNCILS

16.1 Bargaining Councils
The Central Committee may resolve that the union shall become a ‘party to a bargaining council within the Mining, Construction and Energy industries. In such event, the NEC must appoint members to represent the union at the bargaining council.

16.2 Statutory Bargaining Councils. The NEC may resolve to apply for the establishment of a statutory bargaining council as provided in the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

17 AUTHORISATION FOR LEGAL DISPUTES

17.1 The NEC may initiate or defend any legal proceedings concerning labour disputes involving the union or its members at national, regional or branch level.

17.2 The NEC may authorise the persons in sub-clause 17.3, 17.4 or 17.5 to take all necessary steps and sign all documentation in connection with legal proceedings.

17.3 The NEC may authorise at a National level:

17.3.1 any of its committee members; and I or

17.3.2 two officials or office bearers who may be the, General 
Secretary, Deputy General Secretary or the President (or any person acting in one of those capacities); Legal officer, or a legal representative of the union.

17.4 The NEC may authorise at a regional level:

17.4.1 any two persons mentioned in sub-clause 17.3 above;

17.4.2 The Regional Chairperson; and

17.4.3 The Regional Secretary

17.5 The NEC may authorise at a branch level:

17.5.1 any two persons mentioned in sub-clause 17.3 and 17.4 above:

17.5.2 the Branch Chairperson; and

17.5.3 the Branch Secretary.

17.6 Any steps contemplated or taken concerning disputes shall be subject to the decisions of the NEC.

18 STRIKES

18.1 Before calling a strike the union’s NEC or relevant Regional Committee should approve the strike and the relevant Regional Committee or Committees must conduct a ballot of those of its members in respect of whom it intends to call the strike.

18.2 If at least 20% of members involved in any strike request the NEC or the Regional Committee (as the case may be) to hold a ballot to determine whether the strike should be terminated, then the NEC or Regional Committee must do so.

18.3 If the majority of affected members in the ballot vote to terminate the strike, the NEC or the Regional Committee may resolve to terminate the strike.

19 BALLOTS

19.1 Ballot Requirements
Whenever a ballot is required in terms of this Constitution it must be conducted as contemplated in sub-clause 19.2, 19.3, 19.4, 19.5 and 19.6 below, with the changes required by the context.

19.2 With Notice
The Branch Secretary, or the Regional Secretary or the General Secretary (as the case may be) must give notice in writing at least 3 days before the ballot is to be taken to:

19.2.1 each member of the union body involved in the ballot; or

19.2.2 members of the union generally, by placing the notice at the places of work or accommodation which shall constitute proper notice, and it shall not be necessary to supply each member individually with a written notice.

19.3 Without Notice
A ballot may be taken without notice at any general meeting on the decision of the majority of the members present.

19.4 Scrutineers
Two scrutineers must be appointed by each Branch, Regional Committee or NEC (as the case may be) or the general meeting concerned to supervise any ballot and to ascertain the result thereof.

19.5 Ballot Papers

19.5.1 The General Secretary must send ballot papers to Branch Secretaries or Regional Secretaries.

19.5.2 The issue to be voted upon must be written clearly on the ballot papers.

19.5.3 Ballot papers must not contain any information by means of which it will be possible to identify the voter.

19.5.4 One ballot paper only shall be issued to each member of the branch who is entitled to vote, in the presence of the scrutineers, at the time and place for the taking of the ballot.

19.6 Voting

19.6.1 Each member must complete, fold and deposit the ballot paper in a container provided for that purpose.

19.6.2 Members must not sign or mark the ballot papers in anyway apart from the mark required to be made to record the vote. Papers bearing any other marks must be regarded as spoilt and must not be counted.

19.6.3 The scrutineers must on completion of a ballot or as soon as possible thereafter count the ballot papers and ascertain the results in the presence of the Branch, Regional or General Secretary (as the case may be).

19.6.4 The scrutineers must communicate the results to the relevant executive committee which must immediately advise the NEC.

19.6.5 Scrutineers must place ballot papers including spoilt papers, in a container which must be sealed and retained by the Branch, Regional or General Secretaries (as the case may be) for not less than 3 years.

19.6.6 The ballot box must be inspected by scrutineers and sealed by the Branch, Regional or General Secretary for not less than three years.

20 AMALGAMATION
The union may amalgamate with another union in the Mining, Construction and Energy industries if at least two thirds of the delegates of the National Congress vote in favour of such amalgamation.

21 DISSOLUTION

21.1 The union may be dissolved, subject to:

21.1.1 the requirements of the law;

21.1.2 a resolution of the National Congress provided at least three quarters of the delegates vote in favour thereof; and

21.1.3 sub-clause 21.2 below.

21.2 If the National Congress resolves to dissolve the union, a Special National Congress may be requested in accordance with clause 11.9 to reconsider the matter.

21.3 If no Special Congress is requested within one month of the dissolution decision, such a decision becomes final.

21.4 Once the dissolution decision becomes final, the NEC must apply to the Labour Court for an order giving effect to the resolution to dissolve the union.

21.5 The union must recommend a liquidator for appointment by the Labour Court on appropriate conditions.

21.6 The liquidator must have appropriate skills and experience.

21.7 The liquidator is vested with all necessary powers to:

21.7.1 pay the union’s debts;

21.7.2 dispose of its assets; and

21.7.3 generally wind up the union’s affairs.

21.8 The liquidator must distribute any remaining assets in accordance with the resolution contemplated in sub-clause 21.1.2:

21.8.1 to a labour organisation with aims similar to those of the union; or

21.8.2 to a workers’ insurance, provident or benefit fund.

21.9 The NEC must pay the liquidator’s fees.

21.10 None of the assets of the union shall be distributed to members upon dissolution, other than to discharge any indebtedness to a member.

22 AMENDMENTS

22.1 Subject to the provisions of any law, any of the provisions of this Constitution may be repealed or amended by resolution of the National Congress provided two thirds of the delegates attending Congress vote in favour of the amendments. Notice of any proposed amendments must be reflected in the duly circulated agenda for Congress.

22.2 The Central Committee is empowered to amend the provisions of the Constitution delineating the scope of the union, provided that:

22.2.1 two thirds of its members vote in favour of the amendments; and

22.2.2 the amendments are ratified by the next National Congress.

22.3 The NEC may amend the provisions of annexures 3 and 4.

23 INTERPRETATION

23.1 Footnotes and headings are for explanatory and referencing purposes only, and do not form part of this Constitution.10
10[One of the plain language features is to include headings and footnotes to make the text more accessible and easer to read. This clause ensures that they do not form part of the Constitution if there is a dispute over interpretation.]

23.2 The Central Committee must interpret the Constitution if a dispute arises and its decision shall be final and binding.

23.3 If there is a dispute in a structure about the interpretation of any clause in this Constitution that structure must refer the dispute to the next higher structure for its decision.11
11[For example a dispute in a Branch Committee about the interpretation of a clause must refer the dispute to a Regional Committee for its decision.]

24 DEFINITION

Unless the context indicates otherwise, each word or term defined in the LRA will have the same meaning as in that Act, except for the following,