CONSTITUTION OF THE CONSULAR CORPS OF CAPE TOWN

1. Name
The name of the organisation shall be “The Consular Corps of Cape Town” (hereinafter referred to as the Consular Corps).

2. Main and ancillary objectives
The main objective of the organisation shall be to represent the Consular Corps in its dealings with both Provincial and Municipal Government in the Western Cape and with any other Provincial or Municipal Governments falling within the areas of jurisdiction of its members.

The ancillary objectives of the organisation shall be to promote the general interests of the Consular Corps both internally and in its relations with the citizens of Cape Town and surrounding areas.

3. Governing statutes
The affairs of the Consular Corps shall be governed by the South African Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act No 37 of 2001, of which the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations of 1963 forms an integral part.

4. Dean of the Consular Corps
In accordance with international usage, the Dean of the Consular Corps shall be the highest ranking career consular officer with the longest service in Cape Town as determined by either the date of the grant of the “Exequatur” or the date of “Provisional Admission” to perform his/her function by the Government of South Africa.

5. Membership
(a) Membership of the Consular Corps is open to all Career and Honorary Consular Officers including Consuls General, Consuls, Vice Consuls, and Consular Agents who have been recognised by the South African Government.

(b) Full membership of the Consular Corps is dependent on the payment by the individual concerned of the annual fee to be determined by the Consular Corps at its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

(c) Members who cease to be recognised by either the appointing or receiving state shall automatically cease to be members of the Consular Corps.

(d) No provision can be made for the appointment of honorary members of the Consular Corps, as the organisation is governed by statute.

6. Annual General Meeting and election of Executive Committee
The Consular Corps shall as soon as possible after 1 January of every year convene an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of all its members.

The quorum of the AGM is 50% of the members of the Consular Corps plus one.

The purpose of the AGM is to:

(a) elect an Executive Committee whose function shall be to assist the Dean with the administration of the Consular Corps.

(b) receive and consider the Annual Financial Report prepared by the Treasurer and determine the financial contributions to be made by members of the Consular Corps for the coming year.

7. Executive Committee
(a) This Executive Committee under the Chairmanship of the Dean shall consist of no more than six members and shall elect from its own members:

(I) the Deputy Dean (to be elected from the ranks of the honorary consular officers),

(II) a Treasurer,

(III) a Secretary, and

(IV) three members to represent various geographical regions (one of whom is the most senior career consular officer next to the Dean)

The quorum of the Executive Committee is four including the Dean or in his/her absence the Deputy Dean.

(b) This Executive Committee shall meet on a regular basis to discuss and decide upon matters such as meetings, functions, the Consular List and all other matters relevant to the proper functioning of the Consular Corps.

(c) Should members of the Executive Committee, other that the Dean, be transferred or resign during the course of the year, the Executive Committee shall, subject to the provision of article 7(a), have the power to fill any vacancy that may occur from time to time in its membership as it thinks desirable, and to co-opt not more than two persons with full rights of membership who shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting (although the Executive Committee shall have the right to co-opt them again at any subsequent time).

(d) Other than the Dean, members of the Executive Committee shall hold office for two (2) years.

8. Financial Year and related matters
(a) The Financial Year of the Consular Corps shall run from 1 January to 31 December and it shall be incumbent upon the Treasurer to produce an Annual Financial report within 30 days of the end of the Financial Year.

(b) Subscriptions by members to the Consular Corps become due and payable on 1 January of each calendar year and are not repayable should the member cease to be a member within that calendar year, whatever the cause.

(c) Members transferred to Cape Town within the course of a calendar year pay a pro rata share of the annual subscription.

(d) No donations from the funds of the Consular Corps shall be made without prior approval of the Executive Committee, ratified by the Consular Corps at either a Special General Meeting called in terms of Article 9 of this constitution or at its Annual General Meeting (AGM).

9. Meetings
(a) A Special General Meeting of the Consular Corps shall be held whenever, in the opinion of the Dean, or in his/her absence the Deputy Dean, the business of the Consular Corps demands.

(b) Subject to the provisions of Article 7(b), any three members of the Consular Corps may, by request in writing to the Secretary, ask for a special meeting of the Executive Committee to discuss any particular matter.

10. Duties of the officers
(a) The Dean or, in his/her absence the Deputy Dean, or in their absence a member of the Executive Committee elected for the purpose, shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and at the Annual General Meeting and at Special General Meetings.

(b) The Treasurer shall have the responsibility of administering the funds belonging to the Consular Corps, as directed by the Executive Committee, and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Committee.

(c) The Secretary shall have the responsibility of keeping accurate Minutes of proceedings at the Annual General Meeting, Special General Meeting and, if required, at Meetings of the Executive Committee. The Secretary shall also, in co-operation with the Dean, have the responsibility of keeping the Consular List up to date.

(d) Other members of the Executive Committee may be assigned special tasks as decided upon by the Executive Committee.

11. Amendment
This constitution may be amended at any Annual or Special General Meeting of the Consular Corps by a majority of not less than two thirds of those members present at such meeting, provided that notice in terms of the proposed amendment accompanies the notice of the meeting and provided further, that the proposed amendment is consistent with the provisions of Article 2 of this constitution.

12. Validity
This constitution shall come into force on 21 December 2004.