Our Constitution

The name of the association is “Oral History Association of South Africa” (hereafter OHASA).

The objective of the OHASA is to promote and facilitate the recording, preservation, access, popularisation and study of oral history in South Africa. This includes poetry, music, oral praise, oral performance and oral traditions.

3.1       The membership of OHASA is open to any individual person, public institution or community-based organisation which actively supports its objective.

3.2       All members pay an annual membership fee.

4.1       Composition of the Executive Committee

4.1.1    The members of the Executive Committee shall be no less than five nor more than seven, including the office-bearers.

4.1.2    The Executive Committee shall include representatives of at least five provinces.

4.1.3    They shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

4.1.4    When electing members of the Executive Committee, due attention shall be paid to gender representation.

4.1.5    The office bearers shall include a Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson, a  Treasurer and a  Secretary. The election of the office bearers shall take place at the first meeting of the Executive Committee.

4.1.6    Any person(s) required for expert advice on any matter may be co-opted onto the Executive for limited periods, but shall have no vote.

4.1.7   The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a term of three years, renewable only once.


4.2 Meetings of the Executive Committee

The meetings of the Executive Committee shall take place as often as is considered necessary by the Chairperson, but not less than three times a year.


4.3  Powers of the Executive Committee

4.3.1    The Executive Committee shall determine the mission and purpose of OHASA in accordance with this Constitution, and shall take policy decisions, and evaluate the effect of their implementation.

4.3.2   The Executive Committee shall determine the membership fee from time to time.

4.3.3    The financial transactions of OHASA shall be conducted by means of a bank account. The signatories of this bank account shall be appointed by the Executive Committee.

4.3.4    The Executive Committee shall have power to delegate certain of its tasks to subcommittees appointed by it.  Each subcommittees shall include at least one member of the Executive Committee.

4.3.5    The Executive Committee may receive donations and acquire movable or immovable property and enter into leases on behalf of OHASA.

4.3.6    Members of the Executive Committee may not derive any financial benefit from their association with OHASA. However, they shall be reimbursed for the expenses occurred in their official duties.

5.1       There shall be an Annual General Meeting of all members of OHASA at a date set by the Chairperson in consultation with the Executive Committee.

5.2       At such Annual General Meeting the report of the Executive Committee for the last preceding financial year shall be submitted to the meeting together with an audited balance sheet and income statement.

5.3       Written notice of the venue, time and date of each Annual General Meeting, setting forth the agenda, shall be sent to each member not less than fourteen days before the date chosen for such meeting.

5.4       The Chairperson of OHASA shall preside at any Annual General Meeting

5.5       At an Annual General Meeting the members of the new Executive Committee shall be elected from the members of OHASA General Assembly.

5.6       The members of the OHASA Executive Committee and a minimum of ten additional members or two-thirds of the membership, whichever is less, shall be deemed to form a quorum.


5.7       The Annual General Meeting shall observe the following voting procedures:

5.7.1    A secret ballot  shall be conducted for the election of the members of the Executive Committee

5.7.2    All other voting shall be conducted by a show of hands, with a simple majority being accepted.

5.7.3    Public institutions and community-based organisations are only represented by one person.

5.7.4    Members only have one vote, whether they act in their individual capacity or represent a public institution or a community-based organisation.

6.1       The Chairperson may call a Special General Meeting of members of OHASA at any time that he/she deems proper in consultation with the Deputy Chairperson or the Executive Committee.

6.2       The provisions of this Constitution relating to the giving of notice, the conduct of meetings and the transaction of business at the Annual General Meetings shall apply mutatis mutandis to each Special General Meeting.

The financial year of OHASA shall run from the first day of April in each year until the last day of March of the following year.

The Constitution may be amended by a two-third majority of members present at an Annual or Special General Meeting called for such purpose, provided that  due notice has been given to the members and that they have received the text of the amendment in advance.

If  for any reason at any time, the members of OHASA resolve at an Annual or Special General Meeting that it is no longer possible or expedient for OHASA to continue to fulfil its purpose, the members attending such General Meeting may resolve to terminate OHASA, provided that the intention of terminating the association has been notified to them in advance.