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Amendment of CSA Constitution: PPA response

Amendment of CSA Constitution: PPA response

PPA responded as follows to the recent announcement from CSA that the Cycling South Africa constitution has been/is in the process of being changed: “As appears from press releases and the minutes of the “Special Constitutional Congress” held on 18 February 2012, Cycling South Africa (“CSA”) purported to amend its previous constitution to a new one (the “2012 Constitution”).


The 2004 Constitution of CSA provides as follows:

11.6.1 Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained elsewhere in this Constitution, but subject only to the provision of 11.6.2 below, PPA and GPPA shall, in perpetuity, have the right to:

11.6.1.1 register as their members individuals regardless of their area of domicile within or outside of the Republic;

11.6.1.2 have free and unfettered ownership and control of their own assets and income and be solely liable for their obligations;

11.6.1.3 continue to carry out their business; set and operate their domestic fun ride calendars and generally operate and control all their recreational tours; fun rides and league races (after consultation with the Road Commission).

11.6.2 Inasmuch as CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA is willing to allow Pedal Power Association and Gauteng Pedal Power Association the autonomy rights contained in 11.6.1 by reason of their success in developing recreational cycling and competitive racing in terms of successful models whereby these aspects of the sport are combined, particularly in mass participation events, should PPA and/or GPPA for any reason discontinue this even-handed approach by, for example, contracting its racing calendar, abandoning league events or taking any other steps which in the reasonable opinion of CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA constitutes unfair discrimination against competitive racing in favour of recreational cycling including fun rides in the Western Cape, then PPA’s and/or GPPA’s autonomy in respect of competitive racing shall, at the instance of CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA, terminate and to this extent PPA and/or GPPA as the case may be, shall fall under the instruction of CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA through its Board of Trustees and appropriate National Commissions. In all other respects however PPA’s and/or GPPA’s autonomy shall continue in the manner afore stated.

13.1 This Constitution may be amended or altered only by a Resolution passed by at least a 75% (Seventy-Five percent) majority of all votes of all affiliates of the Association, at a duly constituted Congress of Affiliates and provided that notice of the proposed amendment or alteration has been duly given in terms of the notice calling the meeting and provided further that no amendment or alteration

13.1.1 to Article 11.6 and 11.7.1 shall be of any force or effect unless PPA and GPPA consent thereto; and/or

13.1.2 to Article 13 shall be of any force or effect unless all affiliates consent thereto.

PPA has not given its consent to an amendment of either clause 11.6 or in terms of 13.1.1 or 13.1.2. As such any purported amendment thereof, taking away the rights of PPA, is invalid.

The minutes of the meeting (paragraph 3.13(a)) also reflect that the amended constitution purported to be adopted is not the version of which notice was given of the meeting in terms of clause 13.1 of the 2004 Constitution. The amendment is also invalid for this reason.

There have been number of press reports that indicate that PPA has disaffiliated from CSA and referred to in William Newman’s media statement of 9 February 2012. This is not correct: The other members of CSA have decided on 18 February 2012 , contrary to the terms of the 2004 Constitution, to amend the constitution to the effect that PPA is no longer a member of CSA.

In spite of these actions of CSA and its other members, PPA would prefer to resolve matters through discussion and co-operation. For this reason it is important to set out certain background and facts.

MEMBERSHIP AND VOTES AT CSA IN 2004 CONSTITUTION

The minutes of the Meeting of 18 February 2012 reflect that PPA has 17990 individual members, which is 53.53% of all the individual cyclists who are members of cycling organisations affiliated to CSA. The votes allocated to PPA was 15 out of 83, which is only 18%.

PURPOSE AND MISSIONS OF RESPECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS

CSA and SASCOC purpose and mission is to service the high level end of the sport. Practically speaking SASCOC’s only measure of success is to achieve medals in the Olympics and other international competitions. CSA has always only been concerned about high level competition. It has never been interested or involved in grass roots cycling (fun-rides), other than to obtain revenue from it.

PPA’ mission is very different. It originated as an organization to promote cycling, particularly to focus on the lack of infrastructure for cyclists. Its objectives according to its constitution are:
(a) to be a representative body for the furtherance of the interests of cyclists;
(b) to promote cycling as a recreational activity, a sport and as a means of transportation;
(c) to improve conditions for cyclists with particular regard to their safety;
(d) to arrange and organise cycle tours, fun rides and outings;
(e) to co-ordinate cycle tours, fun rides and outings organised by other bodies and to assist them in their efforts;
(f) to establish contact and liaise with and where appropriate affiliate with other organisations having similar or alike interests and objectives.

PPA has only been involved in racing to a limited extent. In terms of clause 11.6.2 of the 2004 Constitution PPA is obliged to continue catering for racing events and not practice “unfair discrimination against competitive racing in favour of recreational cycling including fun rides”.  PPA intends to continue to comply with its obligations in this regard.  PPA has no interest in getting involved with issues such as national or provincial colours, or selection of teams.

PPA’s focus is on the promotion of cycling in all its forms. PPA has initiated various safety campaigns, such as the distribution of helmets and lights in townships, and the 1.5 meter passing distance campaign. PPA also funds many other projects, such as the building of BMX tracks, funding of academic research and sponsoring academic programs related to cycling. In the last three years PPA has allocated R6 826 000 for deserving cycling projects and has spent a further approximately R1.5 million on development cycling.

The suggestion in paragraph 3.12 (e) of the Minutes that PPA has to register as a club, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what PPA does and what it stands for.

FINANCIAL HISTORY

Since the 2004 Constitution was adopted, the PPA has paid the following amounts to CSA, for which it has received little or no benefit:

1.         Initially, when CSA did not have any funds, PPA undertook and paid for the salary of CSA’s employees for a period of two years.  The amount paid to CSA in this regard totalled R551 000;

2.         Calendar fees of R43 115;

3.         Membership levies of R2 128 087;

4.         PPA has collected and paid to CSA day license fees of R66 416.

STATEMENTS REGARDING PREVENTING PPA AND CTCTT FROM HOLDING EVENTS

PPA finds the following two statements in the Minutes of concern:
(a) “none of [PPA’s] events will be able to take place as they will not have Provincial or National approval” (paragraph 3.12 e); and
(b) “effectively this means that the Cape Argus Cycle Tour will not take place without the approval and sanction of Western Cape and Cycling SA.” (paragraph 3.5)

On what legal basis is this statement made? Please provide us with the reference of the Act, regulation or other authority on which statement is made within one week so that we can consider it before our meeting. If these statements are incorrect, please withdraw in writing and publish your withdrawal of the statements to each of the parties on your current mailing list.

THE 2012 CONSTITUTION

The 2012 Constitution, as presently written, terminates PPA’s membership. Considering the nature of PPA’s activities and objectives, being far different from that of CSA and SASCOC, and considering the lack of benefit that PPA has derived from CSA since 2004, PPA does not intend to contest the unilateral termination of PPA’s membership. PPA does dispute, however, that CSA and its other members can take away the accrued rights of PPA “in perpetuity” as contained in clause 11.6.1 of the 2004 Constitution to regulate its own affairs.

The 2012 Constitution voting provisions are undemocratic. It provides for one vote per member for each of the Provincial Members. This means that Northern Cape with 98 members has the same voting powers as Western Cape, having 552 members plus PPA’s 17990 members.

With PPA’s membership having been terminated, the number of CSA’s individual cyclists, who are members of cycling organisations affiliated to CSA, have been cut by more than half.

SITUATION AT PRESENT AND FUTURE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CSA AND PPA

By adopting the new constitution, CSA has sought to terminate PPA’s membership with effect from 18 February 2012. PPA has in the past paid licence fees on behalf of its members to CSA. PPA will pay a pro rated portion of licence fees calculated up to 18 February 2012 to CSA. Similarly PPA does not intend to collect any calendar fees on behalf of CSA after that date.

PPA does not intend to apply to become an Associate Member of CSA.

PPA will continue to exercise its autonomy over funrides, including timed fun rides, without regard to Western Cape Cycling and CSA. In particular PPA intends to exercise the right granted in clause 11.6.1 “in perpetuity” to “continue to carry on [PPA’s] business; set and operate [PPA’s] domestic fun ride calendars and generally operate and control all [PPA’s] recreation tours; fun rides and league races (after consultation with the Road Commission).

PPA is willing to and wishes to co-operate with Western Cape Cycling (and the “Road Commission”) regarding the limited extent to which PPA is involved with high level racing, i.e. leagues.

If CSA intends to interfere with PPA’s entrenched and accrued rights to carry on its own business as provided for in clause 11.6.1, then it is unlikely that we can find common ground.

THE WAY FORWARD

We look forward to meeting with you on 15 March 2012 to try to resolve our matters. Please provide us with the information requested above as soon as possible so that we can obtain the necessary advice to be prepared for the meeting on the 15th.”

Steve Hayward

Chairman,  Pedal Power Association