Founder member (1954) of the South African Spelaeological Association.


Guide lines:

- The Cape Peninsula Spelaeological Society shall aim to be the Cape Peninsula regional authority on spelaeological matters.

- Throughout this constitution the male gender shall include the female.



1)  Name

The name shall be The Cape Peninsula Spelaeological Society, hereafter referred to as the Society.

2) Aims

The aims of the Society shall be:

2a) To encourage cave and other underground exploration and research, and the organisation of meets and expeditions.

2b) To conserve natural environments with special reference to caves.

2c) To encourage safe and responsible caving practices.

2d) To record accurately all aspects of caves and caving.

3) Management

3a) The Society shall be managed by a Committee consisting of a Vice-President, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and not more than 8 other members. Four members shall form a quorum. No member shall serve more than 4 consecutive terms in the same elected office.

3b) Any member of the Society may stand for election to the Committee, providing the candidate is in good standing with the Society, and is proposed and seconded by members of the Society who are also in good standing.

3c) The Committee shall be elected by the members of the Society at the annual general meeting, and shall serve for a period of one year. Each ordinary member, joint member and honorary life member shall have one vote for each of the elected positions.

3d) Termination of Committee Member's duties:

i) Resignation:

Should a Committee member be unable to fulfil his duties, he will be expected to inform the Committee as soon as possible, and should give 30 days notice of resignation.

ii) Inefficiency:

Should a Committee member be deemed to be grossly negligent in the execution of his duties, the member may be relieved of his post. This may happen only if a motion to that effect is carried by a two- thirds majority of the full Committee, excluding the member in question.

iii) Absence:

Should a Committee member be absent from 3 consecutive meetings without acceptable explanation, he may be deemed to have resigned from the Committee.

3e) Duties

i) Chairman

The Chairman shall be responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the Society, and shall ensure that each Committee member carries out his duties. In the event of a voting tie, he shall use his casting vote.

ii) Secretary

The Secretary shall be responsible for compiling the agenda and minutes of all the Committee meetings, and general meetings, and for the Society's correspondence. He shall distribute agendas and minutes to the relevant Committee and other members. He shall be responsible for maintaining a current membership list.

iii) Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be responsible for all of the financial matters of the Society, except the annual audit.

iv) Other members

Other members shall be allocated duties at the first meeting of the Committee after the annual general meeting.

3f) Co-opted members.

The Committee may co-opt any member of the Society to serve on the Committee. The member may be co-opted for a fixed period, which is not to exceed the term of office of the elected Committee. In special circumstances, the Committee may co-opt a non-member to assist in the running of the Society. All co-opted members shall have the same powers and responsibilities as elected members. No more than two co-opted members may serve at any time.

3g) Sub-committees and working groups

The Committee may appoint sub-committees and working groups of any number of members for any purpose which it may deem fit. The Committee shall define the powers and term of office of the sub-Committee and working group at the time of appointment. These powers shall not exceed those of the appointing Committee.

4) The financial year of the Society shall run from 1 October to 30 September.

5) General Meetings

5a) The annual general meeting shall be held within 60 after the financial year end of the Society, after at least 21 days written notice to members.

5b) The functions of the annual general meeting shall be:

i) To receive the minutes of the previous meeting, and of any special meetings which may have been held.

ii) To receive the Chairman's and Treasurer's annual reports.

iii) To elect the Committee for the following year.

iv) To elect the Honorary Auditor.

v)    To recommend to Committee the entrance fees and subscriptions for the following year.

vi)    To transact any other business with the consent of the Chair.

5c) Written nominations for the Committee, duly proposed, seconded, and signed by the candidate, all of whom must be in good standing, shall be lodged with the Secretary within 28 days prior to the annual general meeting. If there are insufficient written nominations, the Chairman shall call for nominations from the floor to fill the remaining vacancies.

5d) Written notice of any matter to be discussed at the annual general meeting shall be lodged with the Secretary on or before 28 days prior to the meeting, and shall be included by him on the agenda.

5e) The Committee may at any time call a special general meeting of members by giving at least 21 days written notice to members. The Committee shall likewise call a special general meeting upon receipt of a demand signed by 25% of the members in good standing.

5f) The quorum for annual and special general meetings shall be 25% of the membership in good standing. Members may vote by proxy but not by post.  If there is no quorum within 15 minutes of the advertised time of the proposed meeting the Chairman shall adjourn the meeting to another date within 30 days thereof, at which the quorum shall be 10%.

5g) Termination.

i) The Society shall be dissolved only by a 80% vote of all members at a general meeting. Thereafter the assets shall be applied to the discharge of the liabilities, and the surplus shall be distributed to a non-profit scientific organisation.

ii) If, on the other hand, the Society has, by default, not met for 5 years, the Chairman of the South African Spelaeological Association shall endeavour to call a general meeting. If he should fail, he shall have power to declare the Society defunct, and to distribute the nett assets as defined in clause 5 g i above.

6) Membership

The members of the Society shall consist of

6a) Honorary Life Members

An Honorary Life member shall be one who, by virtue of services which he has rendered to the Society or to spelaeology, shall be so elected by the Society committee. He shall be entitled to all privileges of membership without payment of fee or annual subscription.

6b) Honorary members shall be elected by the Society committee for one year only. They shall have no voting right nor be eligible for election to Committee.

6c) Ordinary members shall be any person of 18 years of age or older.

6d) Joint members shall be married couples.

6e) Family members shall be minor children of ordinary or joint members. Family membership shall cease at 18 years of age, but may be converted to other appropriate membership without payment of an entrance fee.

6f) Junior members shall be between 12 and 18 years of age. Junior membership ceases at 18 years of age, but may be converted to other appropriate membership without payment of an entrance fee. Junior members shall have no voting right, and shall not be eligible for election to the Committee. No application for Junior membership shall be entertained unless such application is approved by the applicant's parent or legal guardian in a form to be approved by Committee, waiving any claim whatsoever against the Society and any member of the Society for any loss or damage whatsoever sustained while participating in the activities of the Society. The parent or legal guardian shall be responsible for payment of the annual subscription.

6g) Student members shall be any person in full-time tertiary education at a recognised institution. Such membership shall cease at 22 years of age or at the discretion of the Committee. Thereafter it may be converted to other appropriate membership without payment of an entrance fee.  Student members may vote and hold office.

6h) Election of members.

i) A candidate for election to membership, other than Honorary Life or Honorary, shall be proposed and seconded in writing by members of the Society in good standing, and shall be accompanied by the entrance fee if applicable, and by the annual subscription. The application form shall be signed by the applicant, his parent or guardian if a minor, his proposer and seconder, and shall contain such particulars that the Committee may from time to time desire.

ii) Names of candidates for membership shall be circulated in writing to the Committee members at least seven days before the meeting at which the applications are to be considered.

iii) Election shall be by ballot of the Committee.

iv) Any candidate shall be rejected if there are two or more adverse votes. Committee shall not be obliged to state the reason for any such rejection, but shall refund all fees paid.

v) If at any time after the election of a candidate it shall appear that he has been elected under a misapprehension or mistaken identity or owing to materially incorrect information having been given as to character or position, the Committee shall, within two months of such information having been discovered, have the power to cancel his election after he has been invited in writing to offer an explanation to the Committee. The member whose election has been thus terminated shall thereupon cease to be a member of the Society, and may have no claim whatsoever against the Society for damages, return of fees or on any other grounds.

vi) Subscriptions shall be payable on the first day of the new financial year. Should the subscription payable by any member be outstanding three months after the beginning of the financial year, the Committee shall be entitled to terminate the defaulter's membership.

7) Termination of membership

7a) Should any member, in the opinion of the Committee, be in wilful breach of the constitution, or be guilty of conduct which brings the Society into disrepute, the Committee shall have power to:

i) Expel such member.

ii) Call on such member to resign; and if he fails to resign within seven days of written notice, to expel him.

iii) Call upon such member to appear before Committee and explain his conduct.

iv) Retain all fees paid, and to collect all outstanding debts due, to the Society.

7b) An expelled member shall have the right of written appeal to the Vice-President. Such appeal must be lodged within 7 days of expulsion.

7c) No member who has been expelled from the Society shall be re-elected; nor shall he be introduced as a guest to any function of the Society, within 5 years of expulsion.

7d) A member may, at any time, resign by giving written notice to the Secretary and by paying all outstanding dues at the time of resignation.

8 ) Guests

Guests may attend any Society function subject to the approval of the Leader or Chairman as appropriate. The host member shall introduce his guest to the Leader or Chairman, and shall be responsible for the conduct of his guest.

9) General

9a) In case of doubt as to the strict interpretation of any rule, the Chairman shall confer with the Vice-President. In the absence of any agreement, the Vice-President shall be the final arbiter.

9b) In all cases of arbitration the Vice-President's decision shall be final, and will preclude any litigation.

9c) No member may make use of the name of the Society or its address or emblem without the prior written consent of the Society Committee.