About us

Constitution

1. NAME
The name of the Association shall be the:

SOUTH AFRICAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE
hereinafter referred to as ‘SAASWIPP”
2.  PREAMBLE
2.1 SAASWIPP, a national, professional body, is an organ of civil society representing and promoting the interests of social workers in private practice and their clients.
2.2 SAASWIPP is recognized by the South African Council for Social Service Professions and other social work related bodies in Government and civil society as a social development stakeholder in civil society. In this capacity, SAASWIPP has a right to have its own viewpoint heard, and to participate in decision-making processes in all matters affecting the private practice of social work, and related issues.
2.3 Full SAASWIPP members may obtain Board of Health Care Funders of Southern Africa practice numbers which was negotiated in terms of SAASWIPP’S Guidelines for Professional Practice and Professional review infrastructure. This entitles clients of SAASWIPP members to claim from their medical aid scheme for clinical services rendered by social workers in private practice. Payment is dependent on individual medical scheme’s policies.
3. AREA OF OPERATION
3.1 The area of operation shall be Southern Africa pursuant to sub-clauses 5.1 and 5.2 below.
3.2 SAASWIPP shall confine its activities to matters relevant to social workers in private practice.
3.3 The Head Office and National Infrastructure shall be situated in Johannesburg, or elsewhere to be decided by the National Executive Board from time to time.
4.AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
4.1 Aims
4.1.1 To promote and protect the interests of social workers in private practice, and their clients.
4.1.2 To co-ordinate the activities of Provincial SAASWIPP branches, and facilitate the development of such Branches in all nine provinces of South Africa.
4.1.3 To encourage the ongoing acquisition of professional knowledge and skills, and understanding of the role of private practice within the social developmental social development context.
4.1.4 To formulate national policy for SAASWIPP and SAASWIPP members, and to negotiate on behalf of members, concerning legislation and national policy this may affect the interests of social workers in private practice.
4.2 Objectives
4.2.1 To set professional standards, guidelines and recommended tariffs for the private practice of social work
4.2.2 To set criteria for accreditation of membership in various categories
4.2.3 To provide a professional review infrastructure to promote high standards of professionalism amongst SAASWIPP members
4.2.4 To negotiate with any bodies such as Medical Scheme institutions for the benefit of the clients of social workers in private practice
4.2.5 To provide an advisory and resource service to SAASWIPP members and to the community, and to publish a resource book of members and/or an electronic resource directory of members
4.2.6 To establish and maintain ongoing communications, both nationally and internationally, with relevant bodies such as the S.A Council for Social Service Professions, the National Department of Social Development, professional, training and research institutions, and other relevant bodies of civil society and government.
4.2.7 To promote any other activity consistent with the aims and objectives of SAASWIPP
5.LEGAL STATUS OF SAASWIPP
SAASWIPP is a body corporate with its own legal identity which is separate from its Board members and office-bearers. SAASWIPP will continue to exist even if the members change.
6.INCOME AND PROPERTY OF SAASWIPP
6.1 Board members and office-bearers have no rights in the property or other assets of SAASWIPP solely by virtue of their being Board members or office-bearers.
6.2 The income and property of SAASWIPP shall be used solely for the promotion of its stated Aims and Objectives and shall not be paid or distributed directly or indirectly to any person, or to any member of SAASWIPP or office-bearers, except as reasonable compensation for services actually rendered to SAASWIPP or reimbursement of actual costs or expenses reasonably incurred on behalf of SAASWIPP.
7. TAXATION OF SAASWIPP
SAASWIPP will apply to the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (the Commissioner) for exemption under section 10(1)(d)(iv)(bb) of the Income Tax Act for approval as association in terms of section 30B of the Income Tax Act. Upon approval by the Commissioner, SAASWIPP shall:
7.1 Be ensure that its National Executive Board consists of at least three persons, who are not connected person in relation to each other, to accept fiduciary responsibility of SAASWIPP;
7.2 Ensure that no single person directly or indirectly controls the decision-making powers relating SAASWIPP;
7.3 Shall not directly or indirectly distribute any of its funds to any person other than in the course of furthering its objectives;
7.4 Substantially utilise the whole of its funds for the principal objectives for which it has been established;
7.5 Ensure that no SAASWIPP member may directly or indirectly have any personal or private interest in SAASWIPP;
7.6 Ensure that substantially the whole of the activities of SAASWIPP must be directed to the furtherance of its principal objectives and for the specific benefit or an individual member or minority group;
7.7 Not have a share or other interest in any business, profession or occupation which is carried on by its members;
7.8 Not pay any remuneration to any employee, office bearer, member or other person, which is excessive, having regard to what is generally considered reasonable in the sector and in relation to the service rendered;
7.9 Ensure that substantially the whole of SAASWIPP’s funding must be derived from its annual or other long-term members from an appropriation by the government of the Republic of South Africa in the national, provincial or local sphere;
7.10 Ensure that it is not knowingly and will not knowingly become a party to, and does not knowingly permit itself to be used as part of, an impermissible avoidance arrangements contemplated in Par IIA of Chapter III, or a transaction, operation or scheme contemplated in section 103(5) of the Income Tax Act;
7.11 Ensure that its National Executive Board submits to the Commissioner a copy of any amendment to this constitution, within thirty days of such amendment; and
7.12 Comply with such reporting requirements as may be determined by the Commissioner from time to time.
8. MEMBERSHIP
8.1 Members in South Africa must be registered as social workers in terms of the Social Work Act, 1978 (Act 110 of 1978).
8.2 Potential members from other Southern African countries must meet the statutory requirements of their country.
8.3 Prospective members shall make application on the prescribed form.
8.4 Approval of membership shall be at the discretion of the National Executive Board. Membership shall be of SAASWIPP at National level. Where a branch exists in the Province in which the member resides, such member will automatically also become a member of such branch.
8.4.1 Full/accredited members:
Members, who meet the accreditation standards set and approved by the National Executive Board, may be accepted as full/accredited members and be eligible to vote at meetings and for nomination to any committee.
8.4.2 Specialized accreditation:
Full/accredited members may apply in writing for additional, specialized accreditation in designated fields of practice, e.g. adoption work.
8.4.3 Associated Members:
Members who are as yet unable to meet with standards set by the National Executive Board for full/accredited membership may be admitted as associate members at the discretion of the Accreditation and Membership Committee. Associate members shall be eligible for nomination to any sub-committee but shall not be eligible to vote at meetings.
8.4.4 Conditional Membership:
8.4.4.1 Conditional membership refers to membership with additional conditions set for the member such as supervision/internship and/or submission of reports by the supervisor and/or submissions of files and/or submissions of financial accounts as imposed by the National Executive Board on recommendations of the relevant Standing Committee(s)
8.4.4.2 Conditional membership may be imposed for a specified period on any member where:
(a) Membership was previously terminated in terms of Clause 7.1.4;
(b) The Ethics and Clinical Review Committee so recommend, after investigating problems of professionalism concerning such member and after the NEB has judged the matter.
8.4.4.3 The relevant Standing Committees shall evaluate a re-application in terms of 5.4.4.2(a) and make recommendations to the National Executive Board
8.4.4.4 Conditional members shall neither be eligible to vote nor shall be eligible for nomination to any sub-committee or the National Executive Board.
8.4.5 Honorary Membership:
SAASWIPP may at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting confer honorary membership upon any person who has rendered meritorious service. Honorary members shall not be liable for subscription fees, but shall be eligible for nomination to the Board or any sub-committee, and shall be eligible to vote.
8.4.6 Appeal Procedure:
SAASWIPP has investigated procedures and criteria for appeals concerning membership and has instituted an Appeal Procedure which is that the matter is brought to the National Executive Board, which acts as the Appeal Committee.
9.SUBSCRIPTION FEES
9.1 All members, except Honorary Members, shall pay subscription fees as may be decided annually by the National Executive Board.
9.2 National Executive Board members who have served for one year will be exempt from subscription fees whilst they remain Board members, as may be decided annually by the National Executive Board
9.3 Subscription fees fall due on January 1st each year, and are payable by 31st March of that year.
9.4 Subscription fees are payable to the National Executive Board. A portion of the subscription fee will be paid to the Branch of the Province where the member resides. Such portion shall be decided annually by the National Executive Board in consultation with Branches and the Auditor. For those Provinces where branches are yet to be formed, records of members will be maintained. A “start-up” amount will be decided by the National Executive Board in consultation with a proposed branch.
9.5 Further fees for specialized accreditation may be levied.
10. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
10.1 Membership may be terminated as follows:
10.1.1 By the National Executive Board if a South African member has their registration as a social worker cancelled by the South African Council for Social Service Professions in terms of the Social Work Act of 1978 (Act 110 of 1978), as amended; and if a non-South African member has their registration as a social worker cancelled by the relevant statutory body.
10.1.2 By means of voluntary resignation, submitted to the National Executive Secretary and/or the Chairperson in writing
10.1.3 Through failure to submit subscription fees by due date, provided that membership shall not lapse before three months after the due date of such fees, i.e. after 31st March of any given year
10.1.4 By the National Executive Board for failure to comply with standards of practice of SAASWIPP, should the Ethics and Clinical Review Committee find a member to be unfit for membership after an investigation. A report with recommendations shall be submitted to the National Executive Board, who shall judge the matter.
10.1.5 In the event of the above, Clause 10.1.4 of the following will occur:
10.1.5.1 SAASWIPP will inform the Board of Health Care Funders Southern Africa concerning South African members
10.1.5.2 SAASWIPP will inform the South African Council for Social Service Professions, or other relevant South African statutory body.
10.1.5.3 The member’s name will be removed from the SAASWIPP data base.
11.PROVINCIAL BRANCHES
The Provincial Branches shall:
11.1 function within the aims, objectives and policies of SAASWIPP:
11.2 establish a Provincial Executive Committee;
11.3 adopt a Provincial Constitution in line with 11.1;
11.4 formulate Provincial policy and represent the interests of social workers in private practice in the relevant province in negotiations and/or dealing with Provincial Governments and/or Provincial bodies of civil society in the province in which the Provincial Branch is situated;
11.5 recognize that the National Executive Board is the sole and official mouthpiece in all negotiations with the South African Council for Social Service Professions, the National Department of Social Development and/or relevant national organizations in civil society
11.6 The Executive Committee of each and every Provincial Branch shall have the right, should it so wish, of nominating a member of such Provincial Executive Committee to represent such Provincial Branch on the National Executive Board
11.7 Provincial Branches shall present annual financial statements to the National Executive Board by 1st March of any given year.
12. MANAGEMENT OF SAASWIPP
The management of SAASWIPP’s activities and affairs shall be the responsibility of the National Executive Board.
12.1 The National Executive Board shall bear the final authority and ultimate responsibility for policy. The right to make decisions affecting policy and/or any other matter affecting SAASWIPP and/or its members shall be vested in the National Executive Board
12.2 That National Executive Board shall include a Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer (office bearers), five or seven additional members, and one representative from each Provincial Branch. All National Executive Board members shall be full/accredited members of SAASWIPP. Vacancies occurring during the term of office of the National Executive Board may be filled by co-option.
12.3 The office bearers shall be elected by the National Executive Board.
12.4 Executive Committee
12.4.1 The office bearers shall constitute an Executive Committee, and may co-opt additional members to such Executive Committee, as circumstances require
12.5 Standing Committee entrusted with core functions:
12.5.1 At the discretion of the National Executive Board, standing committees may be appointed by the National Executive Board to attend to the business of SAASWIPP in the following core functions or such other functions as the National Executive Board may from time to time determine:
12.5.1.1 Accreditation and Membership;
12.5.1.2 Medical Aids, Board of Health Care Funders and Managed Health Care;
12.5.1.3 Finance;
12.5.1.4 Legislation and Policy Negotiations;
12.5.1.5 Ethics and Clinical Review;
12.5.1.6 Adoption;
12.5.1.7 Public Relations and Marketing
12.5.1.8 Ongoing Member Education;
12.5.1.9 Liaison with branches;
12.5.1.10 Research;
12.5.1.11 Representation on relevant bodies; and
12.5.1.12 Corporate Governance
12.5.2 The Chairperson of each standing committee shall be a member of the National Executive Board of SAASWIPP
12.5.3 Standing committees may co-opt members
12.5.4 Standing committees may appoint ad hoc working groups to attend to specific matters
12.5.5 Membership of standing and ad hoc committees shall be open to all members of SAASWIPP
12.5.6 The services of social workers and other relevant professional consultants may be called upon on a voluntary or paid basis to perform specific tasks
12.5.7 A standing committee shall conduct its affairs according to the terms of reference that have been approved by the National Executive Board
12.5.8 The National Executive Board shall not be divested of any power or function performed by a standing committee, and may dissolve a standing committee by a two-thirds vote of the National Executive Board
12.6 Period of office:
12.6.1 All members of the National Executive Board as well as members of the standing committees, shall hold office for 2 years, and may be re-elected thereafter. The Chairperson shall rotate every three to four years, and may be re-elected at a future time.
12.7 Meetings of the National Executive Board:
12.7.1 The National Executive Board shall meet at least four times per annum
12.7.2 Special Meetings: Special meetings or telephone conferences of the National Executive Board may be convened at any time by the Chairperson or at the request of five members of the National Executive Board in writing or by fax or by electronic email.
12.7.3 Written notice by the National Executive Board meetings shall be posted at least two weeks before the date of the meeting. In case of special meetings, one week’s notice shall be given by fax or by electronic mail.
12.7.4 Quorum: A majority of the National Executive Board who must be personally present shall constitute a quorum. Absent members may be represented by proxy, thereby included in determining the quorum.
12.7.5
12.7.6 If no quorum is present within thirty minutes of the times fixed for any meeting, those present may proceed with the meeting, and any decisions taken at the meeting shall be circularized in the minutes within fourteen days to all members of the National Executive Board for ratification at the next meeting. Decisions must be ratified in writing by a quorum of the National Executive Board prior to any action.
12.8 Voting:
12.8.1 Members and op-opted members of the National Executive Board shall have one vote each. In the case of an equality of votes, the presiding chairperson may exercise a casting vote in addition to his/her deliberating vote
12.8.2 Voting shall be by secret ballot unless otherwise decided by members present at the meeting.
12.8.3 The National Executive Board shall be entitled in its sole discretion to allow voting by proxy or by postal vote.
12.9 Minutes: Proper minutes and attendance records shall be kept of all meetings of the National Executive Board. The Chairperson for the meeting shall sign the minutes of the previous National Executive Board
12.10 Any actual or potential conflict of interest on the part of any National Executive Board member, on a matter pertaining to SAASWIPP, must be disclosed in writing to the National Executive Board which shall record such conflict of interest in the minutes of the Board meeting. Such National Executive Board member may be requested by the National Executive Board to state his/her position in the matter or to respond to pertinent questions, but shall not vote or use his/her influence on the matter and shall not be counted for purposes of determining a quorum for the meeting where the voting takes place.
13. PROFESSIONAL REVIEW INFRASTRUCTURE
13.1 The National Executive Board shall appoint an Ethics and Clinical Review standing committee
13.2 Such committee shall have the power to formulate rules and procedures for handling enquiries and complaints, and procedures for investigations, and hearings concerning SAASWIPP members, and to conduct such hearings.
13.3 The “Guidelines for Practice” of SAASWIPP shall set the standards of practice, and may be reviewed from time to time.
13.4 Should the Ethics and Clinical Review Committee find that a member has failed to comply with standards of practice set by SAASWIPP, the following sanctions may be applied:
13.4.1 Reprimand
13.4.2 Severe reprimand
13.4.3 Imposition of Conditional Membership (as per 13.5 below)
13.4.4 Termination of membership (as per 13.5 below)
13.5 Should the Ethics and Clinical Review committee decide a member has not upheld SAASWIPP’S standards and finds that such members should either have their membership changed to conditional membership or have their memberships terminated, the Committee shall furnish a full report and recommendations to the National Executive Board who will judge the issue. The member may appear without legal representation at such NEB meeting. The Ethics and Clinical Review committee shall treat all matters confidentially unless referred to the National Executive Board.
13.6 Such committee shall also have the right to refer cases of alleged misconduct by SAASWIPP members to the South African Council for Social Service Professions and/or any other body of appropriate jurisdiction.
14. REPRESENTATION ON RELEVANT BODIES:
Representation on relevant national bodies will be decided by the National Executive Board. At least two NEB members shall be such representatives, if possible. Provincial Branches will have the same power on Provincial level.
15.ANNUAL GENERAL AND SPECIAL MEETINGS
15.1 An Annual General Meeting shall be held within six months of the end of the financial year. At such a meeting the following business shall be transacted:
15.1.1 Presentation of the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting and matters arising there from.
15.1.2 Presentation of the Chairperson’s annual report on the activities of SAASWIPP
15.1.3 Presentation of the financial statement for the past financial year.
15.1.4 Ratification of the appointment of an honorary auditor and an honorary legal advisor
15.1.5 Election of the National Executive Board on a bi-annual basis including ratification of the election of the Provincial Branch representatives to the National Executive Board
15.1.6 Any other relevant business
15.2 At all meetings of SAASWIPP, the Chairperson shall preside, and, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairperson. In the absence of both Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the meeting shall elect a Chairperson from members present at that meeting.
15.3 At least three weeks’ notice in writing shall be given of all Annual General Meetings.
15.4 All members shall be eligible to attend the Annual General meetings of SAASWIPP.
15.5 Nominations for members of the National Executive Board may be submitted in writing upon receipt of the notice of the Annual General Meeting provided they are signed by the proposer as well as the person(s) nominated
15.6 Quorum
At any Annual General Meeting of SAASWIPP, 20 members of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum
15.7 Voting:
At all Annual General Meetings:
15.7.1 Each member shall have only one vote. The presiding chairperson may, in the case of an equality of votes, exercise a casting vote in addition to his/her deliberating vote.
15.7.2 Voting shall be by secret ballot unless otherwise decided by members present at the meeting.
15.7.3 Only full/accredited paid-up members shall be entitled to vote. Voting rights lapse jointly with lapsed membership of SAASWIPP.
15.7.4 The National Executive Board shall be entitled to allow voting by proxy or by postal vote. Where such allowance is made, the notice in question shall contain a voting form embodying the draft resolution. The notice shall stipulate a date by which the voting forms are to be received by the National Executive Board duly signed and completed by the voting member in order to be valid. Postal or proxy votes may not be necessarily by secret ballot.
16. RULES
16.1 The National Executive Board may formulate rules for the conduct of the affairs of SAASWIPP and SAASWIPP members subject to ratification by a Special Meeting of SAASWIPP provided that the rules are not in conflict with any provision of this Constitution.
17. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
17.1 The Constitution may only be rescinded, amended or added to by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present in person or represented by proxy or by postal vote at the Annual General meeting or a Special meeting called for this purpose, provided however that written notice of any proposed rescission, amendment or addition to the Constitution be circulated to Provincial Branches at least three weeks before the meeting of SAASWIPP at which such proposal is to be considered.
18. FINANCIAL POLICY AND PROCEDURES
18.1 The Treasurer shall receive all monies paid to SAASWIPP and shall keep account thereof in such manner as the National Executive Board may require
18.2 The National Executive Board must open a bank account in the name of SAASWIPP with a registered Bank. All monies accruing to SAASWIPP shall be kept in a separate account.
18.3 Cheques shall be signed by at least two office-bearers of SAASWIPP. Cheques under an amount specified by the National Executive Board may be signed by one office bearer and a designated paid staff member.
18.4 Members of the National Executive Board may be reimbursed for monies paid or reasonable expenses incurred or work done for and on behalf of SAASWIPP, after ratification by the National Executive Board
18.5 The Treasurer and honorary auditor shall present an audited financial statement to the Annual General meeting
18.6 The financial year of shall close on 31st December.
18.7 The Provincial Branches shall submit an annual financial statement to the Treasurer of the National Executive Board by 1st March of any given year
18.8 The National Executive Board must ensure that proper records and books of account which fairly reflect the affairs of SAASWIPP are kept, and within six months of its financial year a report is compiled by an independent practicing auditor registered in terms of the Auditing Profession Act or an accounting officer stating whether or not the financial statements of SAASWIPP are consistent with its accounting records, the accounting policies are appropriate and have been appropriately applied with in preparing the financial statements and SAASWIPP has complied with the financial provisions of this Constitution.
19. PROPERTY AND POWERS
SAASWIPP, who in all cases shall be represented by the National Executive Board, shall have the right:
19.1 to open and operate whatever Banking Accounts are deemed necessary;
19.2 To acquire and dispose of property, both movable and immovable. All immovable property belonging to SAASWIPP shall be registered in the name of SAASWIPP.
19.3 to raise, borrow, or lend monies at interest or otherwise for the purpose of SAASWIPP and to furnish guarantees;
19.4 to invest monies not immediately required for the purpose of SAASWIPP and to vary or realise any such investments;
19.5 to enter into any contract and to sign documents in the name of SAASWIPP;
19.6 to institute, conduct, defend, compound or abandon any legal proceedings against SAASWIPP;
19.7 to further prepare estimates of revenue and expenditure, and generally manage the financial affairs of SAASWIPP;
19.8 to make, amend and give effect to rules relating to the operation of SAASWIPP not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution; and
19.9 to appoint and/or to terminate the services of paid staff.
20 POWER TO SUE AND BE SUED
20.1 It will be competent for SAASWIPP to sue in its name
21.LIMITED LIABILITY
21.1 Membership of SAASWIPP shall not entitle any person to any proprietary right, title or claim to any interest in any property or assets of SAASWIPP, nor shall a member by virtue of such membership incur any liability in respect of any claim or action brought against SAASWIPP
22.DISSOLUTION OF SAASWIPP
SAASWIPP may be dissolved at any time by a resolution passed by a majority of two-thirds of the votes of members present in person or represented by proxy or postal vote at a Special meeting duly convened for this purpose. If, upon winding-up or dissolution of SAASWIPP, there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any assets whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of SAASWIPP but shall be paid to a non-profit organisation with similar aims and objectives, such body to be decided on by the outgoing National Executive Board, provided that, if SAASWIPP is approved pursuant to section 30B of the Income Tax Act, it must as part of its dissolution transfer its assets to:
22.1 Another entity approved by the Commissioner in terms or section 30B of the Income Tax Act;
22.2 A public benefit organisation approved in terms of section 30 of the Income Tax Act;
22.3 An institution, board or body which is exempt from tax under section 10(1)(cA)(i); or
22.4 The government of the Republic of South Africa in the national, provincial or local sphere.