Constitution of Plett Democratic Congress
Table of Contents
2. Aims and Objectives
3. Character of PDC
4. Legal Status
7. Organisational Structure
8. Executive Conference
9. Executive Committee
12. Disciplinary Procedure
- The name of the Party is the Plett Democratic Congress, hereinafter referred to as PDC.
- The Plett Democratic Congress is a political party that will register for and participate in elections and in political activities in the local sphere of government in the Republic of South Africa.
- AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- Unite the people of Plettenberg Bay behind a common vision of a local government that advances the needs of its communities as envisioned in the Freedom Charter and the constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
- To address the injustices and inequalities of the past through the legacy of apartheid and the failures of our predecessors in local government post 1994.
- Advance the constitution of our country by adopting the freedom charter adopted at kliptown in 1955 as a guiding document towards developing policies for the advancement of socio-economic development of our people that will restore dignity and ignite prosperity in a present form.
- To advocate and address social ills in our communities with active programs
- To defend the rights of all citizens as per the bill of rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
- To oppose any form of prejudice against any person because of patriarchy, sexism, racism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination that promotes any kind of oppression.
- CHARACTER OF PDM
- PDC is a community driven political party.
- PDC contests elections as a registered political party drawing its electoral support from all spheres of society.
- PDC promotes the participation of its members through policy development and inclusive decision making.
- PDC as a community driven political party shall cooperate closely with all community organisations to advance inclusive informed decision making.
- PDC embraces the diversity of our people as we have a rich cultural heritage.
- LEGAL STATUS
- PDC is a Political Party with its own legal identity that is separate from its individual members.
- PDCshall continue to exist even if the members change.
- PDC may own property, enter into contracts, and sue or be sued in its own name.
- Membership of PDC shall be open to all South Africans above the age of 18 years, irrespective of race, colour and creed, who accept its principles, policies and programmes and who are prepared to abide by its Constitution and rules.
- Applications for membership shall be considered by the Branch Executive Committee (where such exists) or the Executive if no Branch Executive Committee exists. The Branch Executive Committee, or the EC may create from time to time to decide on applications, may accept or refuse any application for membership provided such acceptance or refusal is subject to review by the next higher organ of the PDC.
- Members shall pay annual subscription fee as determined by the Executive Committee of PDM. Members who fail to pay their annual subscription fee shall be deemed as member’s not in good standing and will forfeit any rights of participating in the activities of the party
- On being accepted in PDC, a new member shall, in a language he or she knows well, make the following solemn declaration to the body or person designated to administer such oaths:
“I hereby seriously accept and confirm that I will adhere and abide the aims and objectives of Plett Democratic Congress as reflected in the Constitution as I am joining the Organisation voluntarily. Furthermore my joining of this organisation is without motives to gain favour for personal enrichment and material advantages. I do respect the constitution and confirm that I will work as a loyal member with all my energy and skills at my disposal. Also to make PDC accessible to all people as an instrument for effective liaison and communication where I will defend the unity and integrity of the organisation and its principles”
- The gender policy of the organisation shall be that there would at all times be at least 30% representation of women in all structures and committees.
- ORGANISATIONAL STRUCURE
- PDC consists of the following organs:
- The Executive Conference which elects the Executive Committee;
- The Executive Committee
- The Branch Biennial General Meeting which elects the Branch Executive Committee.
- The Branch Executive Committee
- WOMEN’S CONGRESS
- Membership of the Women’s Congress shall be open to women who are members of PDC and it has the same basic structures, namely, Executive committee and Branch structures. Its objectives are to defend and advance the rights of women, both inside and outside PDC, against all forms of national, social and gender oppression and to ensure that women play a full role in the life of the Organisation, in the people’s struggle and in national life. The PDC Women’s Congress shall function as an autonomous body within the overall structure of the PDC, of which it shall be an integral part, with its own Constitution, rules and regulations, provided that these shall not be in conflict with the Constitution and policies of the PDC.
- PDM YOUTH CONGRESS
- The PDC Youth Formation shall be open to all persons between the ages of 14 (fourteen) and 35 (thirty five) years. It operates on a Executive committee and Branch structures. Its objectives are to unite and lead young men and women in confronting and dealing with the problems that face the youth and to ensure that the youth make a full and rich contribution to the work of the PDC. The PDC Youth Formation shall function as an autonomous body within the overall structure of the PDC, of which it shall be an integral part, with its own Constitution, rules and regulations, provided that these shall not be in conflict with the Constitution and policies of the PDC.
- Members of the PDC Youth Formation over the age of 18 (eighteen) shall play a full part in the general political life of the PDC.
- A member of the PDC Youth Formation shall not be eligible for election to any position as office-bearer of the PDC or to attend PDC conferences, members’ or executive meetings of the PDC (unless specially invited), unless he or she is a full member of the PDC.
- EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE
- The Executive Conference shall be the highest decision making body of PDC.
- The Executive Conference shall be constituted of delegates, 100% of these shall be from branches of PDC.
- The Executive Conference Steering Committee shall be responsible for the smooth running of the Conference.
- The Executive Conference shall adopt the credentials, program, rules, procedures and guidelines of the Conference.
- The Executive Conference shall receive, discuss and adopt the political report, organisational report and treasures report.
- The Executive Conference shall adopt or amend the constitution, policies and program of action.
- The Executive Conference shall be held every five years and elect the Executive Chairperson, Executive Deputy Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Executive Organiser, the Treasurer General and 14 additional members to the Executive Committee.
- The chairperson and secretary of the branches shall serve as ex-officio members of the Executive Committee.
- The Women’s and Youth Congress shall be allocated delegates to the Executive Conference to be determined by the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Conference shall adopt the Policies.
- EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- The Executive Committee is the highest structure of PDC between Executive Conferences and has the authority to lead the organisation, subject to the provisions of this Constitution.
- The EC shall-:
- Convene the Executive Conference and carry out the decisions and instructions of the Executive Conference;
- Issue and send directives and instructions to and receive reports from the branches;
- Supervise and direct the work of PDC and all its structures, including local government caucuses;
- Ensure that Branch structures of the PDC and the Formations function democratically and effectively.
- Oversee the work of the Women’s and Youth Formations.
- Establish Departments and set up committees, ad hoc or permanent, as it considers appropriate, and to delegate powers and functions to such Departments and committees;
- Manage and control all the property and assets of PDC;
- Receive reports, supervise the work of and delegate such functions to the EWC, as it considers necessary;
- Issue documents and other policy directives as and when it deems fit;
- Institute disciplinary proceedings against any member and temporarily suspend the membership of any member;
- Have the power to institute and defend legal proceedings on behalf of the Organisation;
- Appoint at least 6 (six) but not more that 10 (ten) members from among its membership and/ or from other structures of PDC, one of whom shall be designated as Chairperson, to constitute the Disciplinary Committee;
- Appoint at least 6 (six) but not more that 10 (ten) members from among its membership and/or from other structures of PDC, one of whom shall be designated as Chairperson, to constitute the Disciplinary Committee of Appeal;
- Appoint 4 (four) members as Presenters, one of whom shall be designated as Chief National Presenter, to investigate, represent and present the case of PDC, from time to time, in any DC and DCA hearing;
- Have the power, in appropriate circumstances, to delegate any of its powers to the EWC, the Officials or Secretary General;
- Sign deployment contracts with public representatives and recall any public representative.
- The EC shall-:
- EXECUTIVE WORKING COMMITTEE
- As soon as possible after the conclusion of the Elective Conference, the EC shall meet and elect an Executive Working Committee.
- The Executive Working Committee shall be constituted as follows:
- The Executive Chairperson;
- The Deputy Executive Chairperson;
- Secretary General;
- Deputy Secretary General;
- Executive Organiser and
- the Treasurer General.
- In addition, the EC shall elect additional members to the EWC from among the directly elected members of the EC. These shall not exceed 4 directly elected members.
- The members of the EWC may not necessarily be full-time functionaries of the PDC. However, the EC shall determine the extent to which the elected members shall be full-time functionaries who may be allocated specific responsibilities.
- The Women and Youth Formation shall appoint each one person to represent them on the EWC.
- The National Working Committee shall:
- Carry out decisions and instructions of the EC;
- Conduct the current work of the PDC and ensure that Branches and all other PDC structures, such as caucuses, carry out the decisions of PDC; and
- Submit a report to each PDC meeting.
- The Executive Working Committee shall be constituted as follows:
- Every member of PDC shall belong to a Branch, which is the basic structure of the Organisation.
- The Branch shall:
- Be registered with the EC and have a minimum of 100 (one hundred) members, provided that the EC may confer special recognition, where due to exceptional circumstances, the Branch has fewer than 100 (one hundred) members;
- Meet as provided for in the rules and regulations, at least once every 3 (months) in a branch general meeting;
- Be the place where members exercise their basic democratic rights to discuss and formulate policy;
- Be the basic unit of activity for members.
- Elect at a biennial general meeting a Branch Executive Committee consisting of a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Treasurer, and 10 (ten) additional members.
- Branches covering an extensive geographical area, or in respect of which some special circumstance exists, may divide into smaller manageable sub-branches or units. Such sub-branches or units shall only be used as a co-coordinating and administrative tool by the Branch and shall not possess any decision-making powers. These units shall operate on the basis of acceptable democratic principles and practices.
- The quorum for a Branch Meeting, including Annual Branch meetings or any other Branch meetings where the Branch makes nominations of candidates for elections within PDC or for public representatives or takes decisions relating to policy matters, shall be 50% (fifty per cent) plus 1 (one) of the total paid-up members of the Branch.
- The Branch shall:
- An accounting officer shall be appointed at the annual general meeting.
- The treasurer’s job is to control the day to day finances of the Party.
- The treasurer shall arrange for all funds to be put into a bank account in the name of the Party.
- The treasurer must also keep proper records of all finances.
- Whenever funds are taken out of the bank account, at least (2) members of the Party’s Executive must sign the withdrawal or cheque or requisition.
- An annual financial report must be completed and handed in at the AGM.
- If the Party has funds that can be invested, the funds may only be invested with registered financial institutions. These institutions are listed in Section 1 of the Financial Institutions (Investment of Funds) Act, 1984. Or the Party can get securities that are listed on a licensed stock exchange as set out in the Stock Exchange Control Act, 1985. The Party can go to different banks to seek advice on the best way to look after its funds.
- An independent auditor will be appointed by the Executive Council to verify the accounts of PDC.
- DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
- The Executive Committee will be responsible to communicate the code of conduct of the organisation to its branches.
- The Branch Executive Committee must communicate the code of conduct of the organisation to its members.
- All members must have a duty to familiarise themselves with the code and conduct and constitution of the organisation.
- The party will have the right to discipline any member of the organisation through its structures if misconduct is suspected, any intentions of disciplinary procedures will need the approval of the Executive Committee.
- Notice will be given of a Date, Venue, Time and Charges will be given to the accused at least 21 days before the sitting of the Disciplinary Hearing.
- Members will have the right to be represented by a fellow member in his/ her disciplinary hearing.
- The chief prosecutor will investigate represent and present the case for the party.
- Any member that feels that his/ her disciplinary hearing was unfair has the right to appeal. His /her appeal will be heard by the Disciplinary Committee of Appeal.
- The party can only be dissolved by an Executive Conference or Special Conference that is called for by 75% of the membership. The Executive Committee must be notified at least 3 months prior the proposed Executive Conference.
This constitution has been accepted by the founding meeting of Plett Democratic Congress on ________________________________________________ at its Founding meeting at ___________________________________________________________________________________________.
Signature of Chairperson Signature of Secretary