1. LEGAL STATUS The Association has legal status as a corporate body under the common law of the Republic of South Africa. The laws of the Republic of South Africa shall govern the Constitution and the rights and obligations of members of the Association.
2. STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
- Preamble and Naming - The Association believes that the South African tourism sector, as a key economic and social engine of development, requires a strong Tourist Guiding thrust to ensure equitable and responsible tourism growth and transformation. To achieve this, Tourist Guiding has to be elevated to a national priority as a professional body and sector to impact meaningfully on the tourism value chain.
In order for Tourist Guiding to be a fully recognised and have proper representation as a leading stakeholder in the development of tourism in South Africa in general, but Professional Tourist Guiding in particular, support for this establishment as a Provincial body, representing the interests and values of tourist guides in Mpumalanga, is of vital importance. To this effect a local independent body will be established based on strong professional and ethical codes of conduct. Such Tourist Guides, whatever their specialisation, shall be included in terms of a constitution and the definition of the Tourism Bill (Act 3 of 2014) of South Africa, and/or any subsequent amendments. Such a body shall be named “Mpumalanga Tourist Guides Association”.
- Vision: To Promote and maintain a platform of recognised professional Tourist Guides in Mpumalanga and Southern Africa.
- Mission: Contribute to the development of professional guiding and invest and support members by improving their capacity and abilities
- Interaction: The Association shall interact and engage with government, Tourist Guide Associations, stakeholders and private business as an equal entity, towards achieving synergy between parties. The Association fully recognises the historical exclusion of the disadvantaged people of South Africa from participation in the mainstream of the South African tourism industry. Mindful of this reality, it is a fundamental principle of The Association to cooperate, collaborate and support interventions that ensure the inclusion and development of historically disadvantaged communities of the tourism industry.
- Neutrality: Trust in seeking to constructively influence macro and micro tourism policies, tourist guiding strategies and functions, The Association will act from a position of political, ethnical and religious neutrality and mutual trust as a fundamental to its structures, proceedings and objectives.
- Consensus: The consensus principle is fundamental to the proceedings of the Executive Committee in the belief that it best serves representative decision-making by The Association.
- Objectives It is the objective of The Association to:
- Be a unified body representing Professional Tourist Guides, to which government and industry can both refer to and negotiate with on all matters relating to the Tourist Guiding Sector within the Mpumalanga region;
- Deepen the value chain in tourism by working with government, training providers, employers and service providers in raising the profile of Professional Tourist Guides, to increase the level of professionalism and satisfaction amongst service users and thus Southern Africa and Mpumalanga as a preferred tourist destination;
- Offer members ongoing opportunities with monitoring of high standards of quality in training, education, professional development and the adherence to the Code of Conduct (Annexure A);
- Facilitate the provision of benefits to members.
3. DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION
In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise indicates:
- The heading to the respective clauses is for reference purposes only. They shall not be taken into account in the interpretation of this Constitution.
- The singular shall include the plural and vice versa. The male gender shall include the female and neuter genders and vice versa.
- The following words and expressions shall bear the meanings assigned to them hereunder.
- Tourist Guide – a Registered Tourist Guide as circumscribed in the principal act (Tourism Act of 2014) and subsequent amendments.
- Member – any bona fide paid up membership category as defined by the definition of a fully registered paid up Tourist Guide, as regulated and enacted in the Republic of South Africa, and SADC countries, and who has thus joined The Association. Any nominated and elected person shall be a member in good standing,
- Registered Professional Designation - Professional Tourist Guide (PrTG)
- The Executive Committee –The EXCO – the committee within The Association defined within the Constitution with persons duly nominated and elected.
A Secretariat will be established by the EXCO.
- The Association – the Mpumalanga Tourist Guides Association – The MTGA, as a registered and defined voluntary organisation of tourist guides as determined.
- Special Resolution – A Resolution is only passed by a majority vote of the EXCO.
- Quorum- Quorum is understood as ten percent (10%) of full members at date of notice.
- In the event of quorum not being present a new meeting date is to be announced and held within 30 days. Members in attendance at this deferred meeting will constitute quorum. This may however not be applied for revisions to the Constitution and for dissolving of The Association.
- Any notices for all purposes of this Constitution, shall be in writing.
- The notice shall be deemed to have been received by the Member to whom it is addressed by any of the following:
-- At the time of delivery if couriered or hand delivered, or
-- on the 7th (seventh) day following the posting in the Republic of South Africa excluding the day upon which it is posted, or
-- at the time of delivery if sent via facsimile, or at the time of delivery if sent via electronic mail.
- A notice actually received by a Member of The Association shall be deemed to be a notice in terms of this clause.
- Year – The financial year of The Association shall run 1st March to end of February
- Budget – A budget as determined in paragraph 10.
The Association shall entertain just two category of members within its ranks.
All Tourist Guides, registered with Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, whatever their area of specialization (Site, Provincial, National, Adventure, nature or Culture guide) shall be legible as members in terms of this constitution and the Tourism Act (act no 72 of 1993 as amended 2001), the tourism 2nd amendment act 2000 (act 70 of 2000) and all subsequent amendments.
- Professional Membership. Any registered Tourist Guide complying to the application requirements.
- Honorary Membership. The EXCO may grant Honorary Membership to any person or organisation who, in its opinion, has contributed significantly to furthering the objects of The Association or have been a continuous full member for 10 years.
Obligations of a Member.
Each Member shall abide by The Associations:
- Code of ethics and conduct. (Annexure A)
- Termination and disciplinary policies of membership.
- Members whom fail to comply with obligations every member agreed to, or act contrary or counterproductive to the interests of The Association may be terminated. Such termination notice is to be given in writing. The Association reserves the right to recover monies owing by the member concerned.
5. NATURE OF THE ASSOCIATION:
- The Association is a corporate body under the common law of the Republic of South Africa known as a universitas personarum.
- The Association has perpetual succession. Thus:
- The Association continues as an entity notwithstanding changes in and of its membership.
- The Association holds its assets distinct from its Members. No Member has any right, title, claim or interest to the assets of The Association by reason of its membership.
- The Association does not have the object of carrying on any business that has for its own object the acquisition of gain for itself or its Members.
- The Association is not permitted to distribute any of its gains or profits to an individual.
- The Association is required to utilise its funds solely for investment or for the object for which it has been established.
6. POWERS, RESTRICTIONS AND DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Association may exercise the powers conferred on it under this Constitution. This includes the power:
- To appoint agents and employees as it deems fit.
- To acquire in any manner suitable property for the use of The Association
- To borrow monies, subject to Clause 6, as required by The Association in performance of its functions or the exercise of its powers.
- To secure the repayment of monies borrowed by it, including interest thereon, in any manner that the EXCO may determine.
- To invest any monies of The Association in any Deposit Taking Institution.
- To remunerate any person for services rendered in organising or managing of the affairs of The Association.
- To open bank accounts and, subject to Clause 6, to overdraw such accounts. To draw, make, accept, endorse, discount, execute and issue negotiable or transferable instruments of any kind.
- To apply for any law, order, regulation or other authorisation or provision that is to the benefit of the tourism industry, either directly or indirectly and equally to oppose any bills or law, actions or applications that may prejudice the interests of the tourism industry.
- To use such means as are required to publicise the objects of The Association.
- To take out any insurance against any loss that The Association may suffer.
- To merge with or enter into any reciprocal agreement with any other body or organisation which has similar objectives.
- To employ, dismiss and remunerate employees. The Association can further establish and contribute to pension, medical aid and/or other like funds for the benefit of any employee. This effort must also investigate the possibility to incorporate the members of The Association.
- To collect and disseminate information about the tourism industry and about policies or practices related thereto.
- To enter into any agreements for the purposes of The Association and its members.
- Generally to do all such things as may be conducive to the attainment of the objectives of The Association.
- The Association shall not have the power, save with the approval by Special Resolution, to alienate any immovable property or real rights of which it is the owner.
- The Association may not lend monies to Members, unless with the full approval of the EXCO.
The powers of The Association are restricted in the following aspects, namely:
- The Association may not borrow any monies except to finance any shortfall or deficit, including a temporary shortfall or deficit, in its funds, without majority approval from the Exco.
- The Association shall not have the power to encumber any of its assets unless a Special Resolution has approved been by majority of the Board.
- Financial Responsibility: Members of the Board shall be liable, jointly or independently, for the debts and/or obligations incurred by the EXCO
In the event of dissolution of The Association for any reason whatsoever, on conclusion of all financial matters, any remaining finances or assets are to be disposed of as follows:
- All assets and remaining finance to be handed over to full members on a pro rata basis.
7. STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF THE ASSOCIATION.
The Inaugural Conference of The Association. The Association shall be established (in terms of this Constitution) and by way of resolution at an Inaugural Conference adopting the constitutional provisions of the agreed Constitution and confirmed by such a conference. Such a step brings into being the envisaged structures and powers, rights and obligations of The Association as a body.
Structures and Functioning
- The Association shall have an Executive Committee (herein “the EXCO”) composed of bona fide elected members. Such members shall serve for a 3 year period, by which time members will nominate representatives who can be re-elected or newly elected.
- The EXCO shall be composed of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer and five (3) additional members. In the event of any election failing to fill any vacant positions on the EXCO, they shall be filled by the EXCO co opting members. Decisions must be approved with two thirds majority.
- The AGM shall be the highest and final decision making body of The Association.
- The operation and functioning of the BOARD shall be in accordance with the constitution and its provisions.
- The BOARD shall physically meet at least once every quarter in each financial year.
- The EXCO shall also inter alia:
Define and formalise the internal policies and procedures of The Association.
Structure and finalise staffing for The Association on recommendations of the members
Set up appropriate committees and work teams, on the recommendation of the EXCO.
Approve the annual and 6 (six) monthly budget framework of The Association.
8. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- The Annual General meeting (AGM) shall be the bedrock of The Association’s structures and shall be an annual meeting as envisaged within the Constitution.
- The Inaugural Conference shall elect the representatives to the EXCO and mandate its representatives around the affairs and offices of The Association.
- The AGM shall be launched following the Inaugural Conference and shall be an annual event.
- The notice of the AGM shall be issued a minimum of 3 months in advance.
- Extraordinary General Meetings maybe called for by the powers vested on the AGM, the committee or by ten percent (10% )of the members at date of submission.
- Motions or petitions by a member for inclusion into the agenda of the AGM are to be submitted in writing to the committee by at least 60 days prior to the AGM. The member is to furnish the major reasons and concerns to the committee. Secrecy or anonymous submissions will be discarded.
- Member invitations with Agenda for the AGM are to sent out at least 30 days prior to the AGM date in an appropriate form of communication.
- The AGM is empowered to only deal with Agenda items as listed and published therein. However additional agenda items submissions may be entered on the day .In order to be taken up in the meeting, they need to attract a two third majority vote or the chairpersons sanction before they are entered into for debate.This may however not be applied for revisions to the Constitution and for dissolving of The Association.
- At any AGM a resolution put to the vote shall be decided by majority vote.
- The business of the AGM shall be to:
- Confirm the minutes of the previous AGM.
- The Treasurer will table the audited annual financial statements and report of the preceding year.
- The Treasurer will table the Budget for the ensuing year.
- Appoint Auditors qualified to act as such under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 51 of 1951.
- Receive the report of the Chairperson
- Debate items listed on the Agenda.
- Full members present will elect members to the EXCO provided quorum is present.
The EXCO shall endeavour to be kept such accounting records as may be required to reflect the financial affairs of The Association.
The Treasurer shall, in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice, submit an income and expenditure statement and balance sheet for the previous year. This shall be forwarded to all members. A copy of the annual financial statements, which are to be laid before the EXCO , shall be presented to and approved by them prior to the AGM and such documents shall be available for perusal, not less that 21 (twenty one) days prior to the date of the AGM.
The Treasurer, in consultation with the EXCO, shall submit a Budget 6 (six) weeks prior to the end of each year. Such Budget shall reflect the proposed income and expenditure for the ensuing year and the proposed year. Such budget must be presented and approved at the end of year BOARD meeting.
- AMENDMENT OF THIS CONSTITUTION
Application for amendment to the constitution may be put forward by the committee or by a minimum of 10% of members as of date of submission.
Amendments to the Constitution require a two third majority vote of members in attendance at the AGM, provided quorum is present
Code of Conduct
- Shall be welcoming and demonstrate an enthusiasm for South Africa and the Mpumalanga Province.
- Shall endeavour to require additional knowledge and training in fields pertaining to Tourist Guide on a regular basis. Proof provided on each application or renewal.
- Shall Familiarize, learn, understand and implement all Company Policies and Procedures.
- Shall at all times show willingness to provide optimum support and quality service to ALL tourists and support organizations within the province.
- Shall in no way discriminate in rendering service to any tourist on any basis based on gender, colour, ethnicity, nationality, physical challenge, age etc
- Shall refrain from any comments that are racial or could be construed as racist.
- Shall be impartial, unbiased and positive and represent South Africa and Mpumalanga objectively.
- Shall Learn/understand the requirements of each Company or Operator and implement a professional approach with respect to the day to day running of the planned tour.
- Shall refrain from any form of sexual harassment/relationship between a passenger and guide.
- Shall be suitably dressed (uniform or dress code provided by the Company or Operator) and presentable whenever with Tourists irrespective of time of day.
- Shall be a responsible driver on all Private/Government Roads adhering to the Rules of the Road Transport Department as well as Private property road rules at all times.
- Shall carry out the program/itinerary of a tour to his/her best abilities and be loyal to the company He or She represents.
- Shall be timeous with all planned activities, Pick-ups or Drop offs etc.
- Shall never “Sway” the Tour or Activity (Time, Duration or Supplier) in favour of the Tourist Guide.
- Shall deal with all Luggage requirements in a responsible manner.
- Shall deal with conflict in a sensitive and responsible manner.
- Shall report any incident of injury or death to a nearby tourist authority and police station.
- Shall be knowledgeable and shall assist tourists and not provide misleading information.
- Shall in the event of not being familiar with, or being unable to provide information requested, consult with the appropriate authorities for assistance.
- Shall at no time be under the influence of alcohol or narcotic substance while on duty and from administering any medication to a client without proper medical consultation.
- Shall never solicit or hint for clients and gratuities.
- Shall be concerned at all times for the safety of tourists.
- Shall handle all payments, cash or vouchers in a responsible manner.
- Shall be accountable for all equipment provided by company for the duration of the tour.
- Shall report any grievance (Client or Personal) in writing to the relevant authority, company or organization.
- Shall always take into consideration the Safety and Security of the Guest.
- Shall familiarize with Emergency Procedures of the Company or Operator.
- Shall familiarize with the Reporting Systems of the Company or Operator.
- Shall familiarize with correct Accounting Procedures when submitting invoices etc.
- Shall ensure laws pertaining to the South African Revenue Services is followed and abided by (Tax returns).
- Shall at all times, while on duty wear the appropriate tourist guide badge and association badge.
- Shall at all times carry the Guide membership (Specified area: Kruger National Park and surrounding reserves) card and PDP when applicable.
- Shall treat people, cultures and the environment with respect.
Signed at ……………………………….. on this day………….of ……………..20……..