Constitution of the South African Piano Tuners Association (SAPTA)

1. Name

1.1 Organization Title:
The official name of the organization is the “South African Piano Tuners Association,””abbreviated as SAPTA. This name reflects the Association’s commitment to representing and supporting professional piano tuners throughout South Africa.

1.2 Usage in Official Capacity:
The name SAPTA shall be used in all official documents, legal matters, public communications, and representations. It symbolizes the unified professional identity and collective ethos of our members dedicated to the highest standards of piano tuning.

1.3 Brand Identity:
The name SAPTA not only signifies our professional scope but also embodies our core values, including excellence in craftsmanship, commitment to quality service, and fostering of ongoing professional development in the field of piano tuning.

1.4 Representational Rights:
The use of the SAPTA name in any form of media, publication, advertisement, or public announcement must align with the objectives of the Association and requires prior approval from the authorized committee to ensure consistency and alignment with our mission and values.

2. Legal Status

The South African Piano Tuners Association (SAPTA) is established as a legal entity with the following characteristics:

2.1 Independent Entity:
The Association is recognized as an independent legal entity, separate and distinct from its individual members. It has its own rights and obligations as prescribed by law.

2.2 Liability:
The Association’s legal status means that it can own property, enter into contracts, and conduct business in its own name. The liability of its members is limited, meaning members are not personally liable for the debts or legal responsibilities of the Association.

2.3 Assets and Property:
The assets of the Association are solely owned by the Association itself. No member has direct claim to the Association’s property, assets, or funds. The utilisation of these assets is solely for the fulfillment of the Association’s objectives and functions.

2.4 Representation:
The Association can legally be represented in court and other legal proceedings. Such representation will be carried out by individuals appointed by the Committee or as per the resolution of the members.

2.5 Regulatory Compliance:
SAPTA is committed to adhering to all relevant laws and regulations that govern non-profit organizations and associations in South Africa. This includes, but is not limited to, tax obligations, reporting requirements, and compliance with labor laws.

2.6 Amendments and Legal Changes:
Any changes to the legal status of the Association, whether through amendments to its constitution or other legal developments, must be carried out in accordance with the law and duly notified to the appropriate authorities.

3. Domicile (Domicilium Citandi et Executandi)

3.1 Definition and Legal Significance:
The ‘domicilium citandi et executandi’ of SAPTA refers to its official registered address for legal purposes. This term represents the designated location where the Association can receive legal documents (citandi) and where legal actions can be executed (executandi).

3.2 Chairperson’s Address as Official Domicile:
The registered address of the Association is the residential or business address of the incumbent Chairperson. This choice provides a stable and accessible location for handling official and legal matters related to the Association.

3.3 Notification and Documentation of Change:
Should the Chairperson change their address or a new Chairperson be elected, the domicilium citandi et executandi will accordingly be updated. This change must be formally recorded, and all relevant parties, including members, legal entities, and government bodies, must be notified.

3.4 Maintenance of Address Records:
SAPTA is responsible for maintaining an accurate and current record of its domicilium citandi et executandi. This information should be easily accessible to members and authorities when needed.

3.5 Function of Domicile:
The domicilium citandi et executandi serves as the primary address for receiving official communications, including legal documents, governmental notices, and other formal correspondences. It is also the location where legal actions against the Association can be formally initiated.

3.6 Public Accessibility:
The Association’s registered address will be listed on all official documents, the SAPTA website, and other public platforms to ensure transparency and ease of access for members, stakeholders, and the public.

4. Functions

4.1 Setting Standards:
SAPTA is responsible for establishing and maintaining high standards in the quality of piano tuning and repair services. This includes setting pricing guidelines to ensure fair practices and prevent undercutting in the industry.

4.2 Professional Conduct and Communication:
The Association provides ongoing advice to members regarding professional conduct, ensuring adherence to ethical practices. It also maintains effective communication channels within the Association for updates, news, and sharing of best practices.

4.3 Disciplinary Actions:
SAPTA implements a system to manage and execute disciplinary actions for any violations of the code of conduct or other rules set by the Association. This ensures that standards of professionalism are consistently upheld.

4.4 Promotion and Marketing:
The Association actively works to enhance and promote the status of professional Piano Tuners in South Africa. This is achieved through targeted advertising campaigns, marketing initiatives, and public relations efforts.

4.5 Networking and Referrals:
SAPTA facilitates networking opportunities for its members, encouraging collaboration and sharing of resources. It also provides a platform for cross-references and client recommendations, which is essential for business growth and service excellence.

4.6 Support for Non-Members in qualification:
The Association extends its support to Piano Tuners who are not yet members, especially those seeking qualifications. This includes providing access to training, resources, and guidance to meet the membership criteria.

4.7 Examination and Accreditation:
SAPTA conducts examinations and offers accreditation for Piano Tuners, ensuring a high level of competence and expertise within the profession. This process is vital for maintaining the quality and reliability of services offered by its members.

5. Membership Qualifications, Certificates, and Responsibilities

Membership in SAPTA is open to individuals who meet the following requirements and agree to uphold the values and standards of the Association:
5.1 Qualification:
Members must possess an approved qualification in Piano Tuning and submit an application form together with their qualification. The Association recognizes prior learning and experience, and these will be considered for membership eligibility.
5.2 Citizenship:
Members must be South African citizens. The Association values the local expertise and aims to contribute to the national skillset.
5.3 Fees and Rules:
Members are required to pay an annual membership fee and adhere to the Association’s rules and regulations. Timely fee payment is essential for maintaining active membership status.
5.4 Endorsement:
New members or those seeking reinstatement after a lapse must be endorsed by an existing member. This ensures a community of trusted and verified professionals.
5.5 Membership Certificate and Code of Conduct:
Upon acceptance, members receive a membership certificate and must sign a code of conduct. The certificate is a formal acknowledgment of their skills and dedication to the profession. Signing the code of conduct signifies their agreement to maintain high standards of professionalism, integrity, and ethical behavior.
5.6 Continuous Professional Development:
Members are encouraged to engage in ongoing learning and development opportunities to stay abreast of the latest techniques, technology, and industry standards.
5.7 Active Participation:
Members are encouraged to actively participate in Association meetings, workshops, and events. This active engagement is crucial for personal growth, networking, and contributing to the collective knowledge and improvement of the Association.
5.8 Contribution to Community:
Members are expected to contribute positively to the piano tuning community and the broader musical community in South Africa, embodying the values and expertise of SAPTA.

6. Governance

6.1 The Association is governed collectively by its members.
6.2 The Committee, elected by the members, consists of the following roles, each with specific responsibilities:

Leads the Association, organizes and executes meeting decisions, represents the Association in all aspects, and ensures the implementation of meeting resolutions and will submit a chairman’s report at the AGM.

Assists the Chairperson and assumes their duties in their absence or incapacity.

Responsible for maintaining records, managing correspondence, preparing meeting agendas, and recording minutes of all meetings.

Manages the financial affairs of the Association, including bookkeeping, financial reporting, and overseeing the collection of membership fees.

Additional Members:
Serve on various committees as required, providing support and expertise in specific areas relevant to the Association’s activities.

7. Meetings

7.1 Annual General Meetings (AGMs:
The AGM is a crucial annual event for SAPTA, where key decisions are made, and the Committee reports to the members. All members are encouraged to attend for active participation in the Association’s governance.

7.2 Special General Meetings:
These meetings are convened to address urgent or significant matters that arise between AGMs. They can be called upon by the Committee or a member request and are crucial for timely decision-making on important issues.

7.3 Committee Meetings:
Regular meetings of the Committee are held to manage the day-to-day operations of the Association. These meetings are essential for planning, monitoring progress, and addressing immediate issues that arise.

8. Funding

8.1 Membership Fees:
SAPTA relies primarily on membership fees as its main source of funding. These fees are set annually at the AGM and are essential for the operational sustainability of the Association. They fund administrative costs, events, training programs, and other activities that benefit members.

– Fee Structure and PaymentThe fee structure, including the amount and payment deadlines, is decided by the Committee and approved by the membership at the AGM. Members are obliged to pay their fees on time to maintain good standing in the Association.

8.2 Financial Year:
The financial year of SAPTA is defined to run from February 1st to January 31st. This period aligns the Association’s financial planning and reporting with standard fiscal periods, facilitating smoother financial management and reporting.

– Budgeting and Financial Planning:
The financial year structure aids in effective budgeting and financial planning. The Committee prepares an annual budget that is presented and approved at the AGM.

8.3 Financial Management and Reporting:
The Treasurer is responsible for the financial management of SAPTA. This includes maintaining accurate financial records, preparing financial reports, and ensuring that the Association adheres to financial best practices and legal requirements.

– Transparency and Accountability:
Financial reports are presented at the AGM, providing members with a transparent view of the Association’s financial health. Regular audits may be conducted to ensure accountability and adherence to financial regulations.

8.4 Additional Funding Sources:
While membership fees constitute the primary source of funding, SAPTA may also explore additional funding avenues such as grants, sponsorships, or donations, especially for specific projects or events that benefit the membership and advance the profession.

– Ethical Considerations in Funding:
In seeking additional funding, SAPTA adheres to ethical standards, ensuring that funding sources align with the Association’s values and do not compromise its independence or objectives.

8.5 Financial Reserves:
SAPTA aims to maintain a financial reserve to safeguard against unforeseen expenses or economic fluctuations. This reserve helps ensure the Association’s financial stability and its ability to continue operations during challenging times.

9. Disciplinary Actions

9.1 Purpose and Scope:
The disciplinary actions within SAPTA are designed to maintain high standards of professional conduct among its members. These actions address violations of the Association’s code of conduct, ethical guidelines, or operational rules.

9.2 Reporting and Investigation:
Complaints or reports of misconduct by a member are initially reviewed by a designated committee or an appointed investigator. Thorough investigations are conducted to ascertain the facts of the case, ensuring fairness and impartiality.

9.3 Disciplinary Committee:
A specialized disciplinary committee may be formed to handle complex cases. This committee comprises members who are not directly involved in the incident to ensure unbiased decision-making.

9.4 Hearing and Representation:
Members subject to disciplinary proceedings have the right to a fair hearing. They are allowed to present their case, provide evidence, and may be represented or advised by a fellow member or legal representative.

9.5 Range of Disciplinary Actions:
Depending on the severity and nature of the violation, disciplinary actions can range from a formal warning to suspension of membership or even expulsion from the Association. The disciplinary committee recommends appropriate actions, which are then ratified by the main Committee.

9.6 Appeal Process:
Members have the right to appeal against disciplinary decisions. The appeal process is outlined in the Association’s bylaws, providing a secondary review of the decision to ensure justice and fairness.

9.7 Confidentiality:
All disciplinary proceedings are conducted with a high degree of confidentiality to protect the privacy and reputation of all involved parties. Only the final decisions and necessary details are communicated to the membership as appropriate.

9.8 Preventive Measures and Education:
SAPTA also focuses on preventive measures to avoid disciplinary issues. This includes regular education and training for members on the Association’s code of conduct, ethical practices, and professional standards.

9.9 Record Keeping:
Records of all disciplinary actions are maintained securely. These records are important for historical reference and for guiding future decisions in similar cases.

10. Constitutional Amendments

10.1 Need for Amendments:
The constitution of SAPTA may require amendments to stay relevant and effective as the Association evolves. Amendments may be proposed to update practices, reflect changes in the profession, or improve governance.

10.2 Proposal Process:
Proposals for amendments can be initiated by the Committee or by members. A formal proposal must be submitted in writing, outlining the suggested changes and the reasons behind them. These proposals are then reviewed by the Committee before being presented to the membership.

10.3 Member Consultation:
Prior to formal consideration of any amendments, a period of consultation with the membership is recommended. This may involve discussions, feedback sessions, or surveys to gauge member perspectives and ensure that the proposed changes align with the interests of the broader membership.

10.4 Approval at AGM or Special Meeting:
Constitutional amendments require approval at an AGM or a Special General Meeting specifically convened for this purpose. Adequate notice of the meeting and the proposed amendments must be provided to all members.

10.5 Voting and Majority Requirements:
A vote is taken on each proposed amendment. For an amendment to pass, it typically requires a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. This high threshold ensures that amendments have substantial support within the membership.

10.6 Implementation of Amendments:
Once approved, amendments become effective immediately or as specified in the proposal. The amended constitution is then documented and communicated to all members. It is also registered with relevant authorities if required by law.

10.7 Record-Keeping:
Records of all constitutional amendments, including details of the proposal, the voting process, and the outcomes, are meticulously kept. These records are crucial for historical reference and ensuring transparency in the Association’s governance.

10.8 Review and Compliance:
Regular reviews of the constitution are encouraged to ensure compliance with legal requirements and best practices in governance. This proactive approach helps in identifying areas that may require future amendments.

11. Dissolution

11.1 Circumstances Leading to Dissolution:
The dissolution of SAPTA may be considered under circumstances where the Association is no longer able to fulfill its objectives, or if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the members. Such circumstances might include financial insolvency, failure to maintain an active membership, or significant changes in the profession that render the Association’s purpose obsolete.

11.2 Proposal for Dissolution:
The proposal for dissolution must be treated with utmost seriousness and may be initiated by the Committee or a significant percentage of members, as stipulated in the bylaws. The proposal should detail the reasons for dissolution and plans for handling the aftermath.

11.3 Special General Meeting:
A Special General Meeting must be convened to discuss the proposal for dissolution. This meeting is crucial for ensuring that all members have a voice in the decision. Adequate notice must be given to all members along with a detailed agenda.

11.4 Member Voting:
The decision to dissolve SAPTA requires a vote by the membership. A two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at the Special General Meeting is typically required to approve the dissolution.

11.5 Management of Assets:
In the event of dissolution, the Association’s assets must be managed and disposed of according to the bylaws and applicable laws. This may involve distributing assets to members, donating to a charity, or other methods as agreed upon by the members.

11.6 Settling Debts and Obligations:
Prior to the distribution of any assets, all outstanding debts and legal obligations of the Association must be settled. This ensures that the dissolution process is handled responsibly and ethically.

11.7 Final Report and Documentation:
A final report outlining the dissolution process, including financial settlements and asset distribution, should be prepared. This report serves as a closing document of SAPTA’s existence and should be archived for legal and historical purposes.

11.8 Notification to Authorities:
Necessary notifications regarding the dissolution should be made to relevant legal and governmental bodies. This includes deregistering the Association and fulfilling any final legal or reporting requirements.