CONgRESS oF SOUTH AFRICAN STUDENTS

EACH ONE TEACH ONE
FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION FOR ALL

A.   INTRODUCTION

The Congress Of South African Students Was Formed In 1979 On The 31st May In Welgespruit, Johannesburg It Was Formed In A Bid To Unite Students At Pre-Tertiary Level And Let Them Speak With One Voice, In The Wake of 1979 Students Uprising. Students Realized That If They Wanted The Cause For Non – Sexist, Democratic, Free And Compulsory Education And Training System To Be Realized, They Had To Become Pro – Active And Could Not Leave This Struggle In The Hands Of Teachers Alone. So that motto of “Each one Teach One” could be a Reality.

B.   MISSION STATEMENT

COSAS strives for free, compulsory and relevant education and training system, which embrace the value of:

-          Non racialism

-          Non sexism

-          Democracy

-          Equity

-          Redress

-          Quality

In the interest of students at pre – tertiary level from poor and disadvantaged background

We do this through;

-          The program of Reconstruction and Development by ways of campaigns, lobbying and establishing of projects.

-          Empowering students to contribute constructively to the well being of the society.

-          Our membership comes from all sectors of South African Students and we shall work willingly with those share our vision and values.

 

1.    We the students of South Africa recognizing that before being students we are members of the society, recognizing that education is a fundamental human right, believing that students have a construction role to play in the Socio – Economic development of our country, thus the unity of students is vital to the realization of these objectives. Therefore resolve to form an organization set out below.

 

2.    NAME

 

 

2.1 The name shall be the Congress of South African Students. Herein after referred to as COSAS.

 

3.    COLOURS AND SYMBOLS

 

3.1 The colours shall be Black and White.

3.2  The name of the organization shall be printed in black on a white background.

3.3 The emblem shall be South African students holding a book in the map. These will be white against black.

 

4.    AIM

 

4.1 The aim of COSAS shall be to unite all South African students in the pre – tertiary sector to strive towards a non – racial, non – sexist, democratic, free and compulsory dynamic education and training system for the betterment of the society as whole.

 

5.    OBJECTIVES

 

5.1 Recruit all students who support the aims and objectives of COSAS.

5.2 Raise the understanding of students on education matters i.e. policy, bills etc.

5.3 Create the spirit of trust and cooperation among students.

5.4 Defend and advance the interest of its members.

5.5 Cooperate or form organization, both locally and internationally, where it is in the interest of COSAS to do so.

5.6 Encourage innovative and creative thinking amongst students through debating societies.

5.7 Organizing leadership training program for students.

5.8 Promote career opportunities that will enhance the abilities and potential of students.

5.9 To create a mutual relationship between students and teachers.

5.10              Champion the general interests and rights of students in education and other aspects in the society.

 

6.    MEMBERSHIP

 

6.1 FULL TIME MEMBERSHIP

 

6.1.1     Membership shall be opened to all students in South Africa who are at pre – tertiary level with the restriction of twenty four (24) years of age.

6.1.2     Every student joining COSAS is obligated to pay a membership subscription of R10.00.

6.1.3     Application for membership should be opened and considered by COSAS Branch where such exist, and by the Provincial Executive Committee if no branch Committee exist, the Branch Committee has the power to accept or reject an application. In an event of rejection, the application shall be made aware of his/her right to appeal toa senior structure.

6.1.4     All members shall be issued with membership cards on payment of membership fee.

6.1.5     Dual membership by an individual shall be welcomed provided the policies and programs of those organizations to which they belong or may wish to belong are not hostile to those of COSAS.

 

6.2 AFFILIATED MEMBERSHIP

6.2.1 Affiliated membership shall be to open to all groups/club and projects that are based at school and support program and projects of COSAS

 

6.3 AFFILIATED MEMBERSHIP

 

6.3.1     Affiliated membership shall be open to all who adhere to the principle, policies and values of COSAS, these shall be individuals who support programs and projects and who want to contribute to the development of the organization. Associate members shall pay an annual subscription fee of R200.00.

 

6.4 HONORARY PRESIDENT

 

6.4.2.1 It shall be bestowed to an individual who has a history, a track record and he/she has made an outstanding contribution in the liberation struggle.

 

7.    RIGHTS AND OBLIGATION

 

7.1 FULL TIME STUDENTS

 

7.1.1     Every member is obligated to pay an annual fee of R10.00

7.1.2     Shall have right to elect or be elected to any position within the organization

7.1.3     Shall engage in a constructive criticism and self – criticism

7.1.4     Shall be protected against any harassment, victimization and/ or discrimination based on Race, ethnicity, sex or creed

7.1.5     Shall participate in all programs and projects of the organization

7.1.6     Shall be informed about the organization programs and projects

7.1.7     Shall attend all meetings and participate in engagements

7.1.8     Shall be obliged to defend all the policies, programs and projects of the organization

7.1.9     Shall take up any responsibility that may be laid on he/her, such should be within any reasonable doubt the individual will be able to carry out

 

7.2 ASSOCIATE/ AFFILIATES

 

7.2.1     May not be elected to any position but can participate in sub- committee on a participatory observer status.

7.2.2     May be informed about issues concerning the organization

7.2.3     May be invited to workshops, conference, meetings etc

7.2.4     May participate in COSAS projects and campaigns

 

7.3 AFFILIATIONS AND ASSOCIATE FEE

 

7.3.1     Shall pay an amount of R200.00, annually on membership subscription or registration.

 

8.    GENDER AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

 

8.1 In the endeavor to reach the objectives of full representation of women in all decision – making structures, COSAS shall implement a program of Affirmative action, including the provision of quota not less than 40% in all its structures

8.2  The method shall be addressed in all structures on a continuing basis

8.3 Representation or delegation to COSAS activities shall be based on the 50/50 principle

 

9.    STANDING ORDERS OF THE CONGRESS

 

9.1 QOURUM

 

9.1.1     The quorum at the congress shall be 2/3 majority of the total number of invited delegates. If it does not

 

9.2  CHECKING CREDENTIALS AND LEGALITY OF THE CONGRESS

 

9.2.1     The outgoing secretariat shall deliver a report to the plenary session on legality of the congress and quorate at the fixed time of the opening then it will be postponed for not more than 24 Hours, and then if 50% plus 1 of the total number of delegates is present then it may continue the attainment of quorum

9.2.2     The above should apply to all levels of COSAS

 

9.3 ELECTION PROCEDURES

 

9.3.1     Election for all posts in COSAS shall be conducted by secret ballot

9.3.2     Valid ballot papers shall only be those by the electorate office

9.3.3     Such ballot papers bearing and marks that undermine secrecy of voting shall be regarded invalid.

9.3.4     A nominee will have to acquire three provinces seconding the nominating Province to qualify

9.3.5     The procedure used to conduct election shall require a successful candidate to obtain 50% plus 1 of the voting delegates in plenary

9.3.6     In an event the is only one nominee for a position and the plenary has no other, then that nominee is unanimous

9.3.7     Equal votes being cast in particular elections then a second round will be arranged,

9.3.8     Candidates will have to sign nomination form for acceptance of nomination.

 

10. NATIONAL

10.1 NATIONAL CONGRESS

10.1.1  The National Congress shall be the highest decision making body of the organization

10.1.2  The National Congress shall elect members of the National Executive Committee (NEC)

10.1.3  The National Congress shall be convened once in two years

10.1.4  Extra – ordinary Congress may be convened, when more than 2/3 of the total provinces demand so and when the majority of the NEC votes a vote of no confidences in itself.

 

10.1.4.1     A branch may nominate delegates and each shall have one vote

10.1.4.2     The National Congress shall adopt policies by means of resolution in furthering the aims and objectives of COSAS and will consider and decide upon

 

10.1.4.2.1 Confirmation of Agenda

10.1.4.2.2 Credentials

10.1.4.2.3 Amendments of the Constitution

10.1.4.2.4 Political Report

10.1.4.2.5 Financial Report

10.1.4.2.6 Secretarial Report

10.1.4.2.7 Election of the NEC

 

10.2              NATIONAL STUDENTS COUNCIL

 

10.2.1  The National Student Council shall be the supreme policy formulating body between National Congresses.

10.2.2  Shall have the power to recommend new policy directions.

10.2.3  Shall evaluate progress and develop plans of action.

10.2.4  It shall be convened once per term of office.

 

10.2.5  It shall be constituted as follows’;

 

10.2.5.1     Members of the NEC

10.2.5.2     Five PEC Members

10.2.5.3     Branches may nominate delegates as allocated

 

10.3              NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

10.3.1  Shall be constituted by the following members

 

10.3.1.1     President General

10.3.1.2     Deputy President General

10.3.1.3     Secretary General

10.3.1.4     Deputy Secretary General

10.3.1.5     Treasurer General

10.3.1.6     Twenty heads of departments

10.3.1.7     Provincial Chairperson and Secretaries ex – officio status

 

10.3.2  The NEC shall be the highest decision making body between congresses

10.3.3  Shall manage all the activities of the organization

10.3.4  Shall establish department that will be headed by the members of the NEC

10.3.5  Shall elect the National Working Committee in the first NEC meeting

10.3.6  Shall be highest disciplinary structure of the organization in between NSC/Congresses

10.3.7  Shall have the power to co – opt not more than three additional members as any time during its term of office in order to provide representations that reflect the true character of the Congress of South African Students provided such co – option enjoys 2/3 of the National Executive Committee.

10.3.8  Shall hold office for a period of two years and may be re – elected

10.3.9  Shall meet at least once in three months unless the situation is otherwise

 

10.4              NATIONAL WORKING COMMITTEE

 

10.4.1  Shall implement decisions of the NEC

10.4.2  Shall also deal with issues of employment and evaluation of stuff members

10.4.3  Shall in effect be the administrative wing of the organization

10.4.4  Shall co – ordinate monthly plans and consistently ensure that the organization meets it’s long objectives

10.4.5  Shall keep a very close link with Provincial and Branches

10.4.6  Shall be constituted by the following members

10.4.6.1     President General

10.4.6.2     Deputy President

10.4.6.3     Secretary General

10.4.6.4     Deputy Secretary General

10.4.6.5     Treasurer General

10.4.6.6     Five members of the NEC

10.4.6.7     Shall meet once a month

 

11.  PROVINCES

 

11.1              PROVINCIAL CONGRESS

 

11.1.1  Shall be formulating body of the Province

11.1.2  Shall elect the Provincial Executive Committee

11.1.3  Shall adopt resolutions, programs, political, secretariat and financial reports

11.1.4  Shall be constituted by PEC, REC and Branched delegates required

11.1.5  Shall be officiated by NEC member, who may be delegated for such responsibility

11.1.6  Shall meet on eighteen months

 

11.2              PROVINCIAL STUDENTS COUNCIL

 

11.2.1  Shall be the policy making body of the province

11.2.2  Shall evaluate progress and adopt programs and resolutions

11.2.3  Shall be constituted by PEC, REC and branched delegated that may be required

11.2.4  Shall meet once per month of office and as and when the need arises

 

11.3              PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

11.3.1  Shall take decisions between PSC

11.3.2  Shall have the power to co – opt not more than three additional members as any time during its term of office in order to provide representation that reflect the true character of South African Students provided such co – option enjoys 2/3 of the Provincial Executive Committee

11.3.3  It shall implement the policies and programs of COSAS and strive to further the interests aims and objectives of COSAS

11.3.4  Manage and control the funds of COSAS in the Province

11.3.5  Shall run the activities of the province

11.3.6  Shall form departments and co – ordinate their work

11.3.7  Shall elect the Provincial Working Committee

11.3.8  Shall meet at least once a month

 

11.3.9  Shall be constituted by the follow

 

11.3.9.1     Chairperson

11.3.9.2     Deputy Chairperson

11.3.9.3     Secretary

11.3.9.4     Deputy Chairperson

11.3.9.5     Treasurer

11.3.9.6     Ten heads of department

11.3.9.7     Shall ,hold office for the period of eighteen months and may be re – elected

 

11.4              PROVINCIAL WORKING COMMITTEE

 

11.4.1  Shall implement decisions of the PEC

11.4.2  Shall also deal with issues of employment and evaluation of staff members

11.4.3  Shall in effect be the administrative wing of the organization in the province

11.4.4  Shall co – ordinate monthly plans and consistently ensure that the organization meets its long objectives

11.4.5  Shall keep a very close link with Regions and Branches

 

11.4.6  Shall be constituted by the following members

 

11.4.6.1     Chairperson

11.4.6.2     Deputy Chairperson

11.4.6.3     Secretary

11.4.6.4     Deputy Secretary

11.4.6.5     Treasurer

11.4.6.6     Five members of the PEC

11.4.6.7     Shall meet at least once a month

 

12. REGION

 

12.1              REGIONAL CONGRESS

 

12.1.1  Shall take resolution on how best to implement the resolution, programs and projects of the organization

12.1.2  Shall adopt resolutions political, secretariat and financial reports

12.1.3  Shall act as coordinating structure between the PEC and branches

12.1.4  Shall elect the Regional Executive Committee

12.1.5  Shall be constituted my members of the REC and Branch delegates

12.1.6  Shall be officiated by NEC member deployed and PEC deployed delegated for such responsibility

12.1.7  Shall meet annually

 

12.2              REGIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

12.2.1  Shall take resolutions between Regional Student Council

12.2.2  Shall form departments and co –ordinate

12.2.3  Shall be the highest decision making body between the congresses

12.2.4  Shall meet in three months

12.2.5  Shall elect the Regional Working Committee

12.2.6  Shall hold an office for one year and may be re – elected

 

12.2.7  Shall be constituted by the following:

 

12.2.7.1     Chairperson

12.2.7.2     Deputy Chairperson

12.2.7.3     Secretary

12.2.7.4     Deputy Secretary

12.2.7.5     Treasurer

12.2.7.6     Ten heads of departments

12.2.7.7     Branch Chairpersons and Secretaries shall constitute the REC on Ex – officio status

12.2.7.8     Shall meet at least in three months

 

12.3              REGIONAL WORKING COMMITTEE

 

12.3.1  Shall run the day –to – day activities of the organization

12.3.2  Shall meet once a month

 

12.3.3  Shall be constituted by the following:

 

 

12.3.3.1     Chairperson

12.3.3.2     Deputy Chairperson

12.3.3.3     Secretary

12.3.3.4     Deputy Secretary

12.3.3.5     Treasurer

12.3.3.6     Five members of the REC

12.3.3.7     Shall receive branch reports about branch development

 

13.  BRANCH

 

13.1.1  A school shall be a sub – branch

13.1.2  A branch consist of 50% approximately of sub – branches around the an area

 

13.2              ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 

13.2.1  Shall meet annually

13.2.2  Shall elect Brach Executive Committee

13.2.3  Shall adopt resolutions political, secretariat and financial reports

13.2.4  Shall be officiated by REC member deployed

13.2.5  Shall be constituted by 50% plus one of members in good standing

 

13.3              BRANCH EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

13.3.1  Shall co – ordinate general activities of COSAS

13.3.2   Carry out organizational and publicity work in school and other areas in furtherance of the policy programs and decisions of COSAS

13.3.3  Submit progress and development report to the REC

13.3.4  Shall elect the Branch Working Committee

13.3.5  Shall hold an office for one year and may be re – elected

 

13.3.6  Shall be constituted by the following:

 

 

13.3.6.1     Chairperson

13.3.6.2     Deputy Chairperson

13.3.6.3     Secretary

13.3.6.4     Deputy Secretary

13.3.6.5     Treasurer

13.3.6.6     Ten portfolio conveners

 

14. DEPARTMENTS

 

14.1              all Executives will have the following departments either combined or chosen from

14.2              Education Policy Department

14.3              Political Department

14.4              Organizational Development  Department

14.5              Gender Department

14.6              Sports, Arts and Culture department

14.7              Projects department

14.8              Publicity and Information Department

14.9              International Affairs Department

14.10           The above shall apply to all Executive structures

 

15. DUTIES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS

15.1              PRESIDENT

 

15.1.1  The President shall be the Chief Presiding Officer (CPO)

15.1.2   

15.1.3  Present to the National Congress a comprehensive statement of the State of the Nation and Political situation generally

15.1.4  Make pronouncement for and on behalf of the NEC outlining and explaining the policy or attitude of COSAS on any question

15.1.5  Have both deliberate and casting votes

15.1.6  Sign minutes of the meeting after confirmation thereof authorize issues of cheques

15.1.7  Enforce observance of the constitution and the resolutions of  National Congress

15.1.8  Shall supervise all work of COSAS in conformity with the constitution and rules procedure agreed upon by the NEC

 

15.2              DEPUTY PRESIDENT

 

15.2.1  Shall in absence of the President assume his/her responsibilities

15.2.2   Shall be the Chief Spokesperson of COSAS on international Affairs

15.2.3  Shall chair the Disciplinary Committee (DC)

 

15.3              SECRETARY GENERAL

 

15.3.1  Shall convene the National Congress (NC), National Students Council (NSC) and National Executive Meetings (NEC) in consultation with the President

15.3.2   Take responsibility for correspondences

15.3.3  Shall be the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)

15.3.4  Give directions to provinces, regions and branches

15.3.5  Shall in consultation with the Deputy secretary General (DSG) recommend employment of the staff of the National Working Committee (NWC)

15.3.6  The Secretary General shall perform all these tasks outlined above on full time basis

 

15.4              DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL

 

15.4.1  Shall assist the Secretary General in the execution of responsibilities

15.4.2  Shall oversee Administrative structure of the organization

15.4.3  Shall perform all these tasks outlined above full time basis

15.4.4  Shall serve as the Chief Personnel of COSAS

 

15.5              TREASURE GENERAL

 

15.5.1  Shall head the Finance Committee

15.5.2  Draw annual budget, financial statement, oversee the financial efficiency and system of the organisation

15.5.3  Submit an audited Financial Report to National Congress and submit periodic reports NWC, NEC

15.5.4  Preside over the Financial Committee in conformity with the financial policy

15.5.5  Receive quarterly reports from provinces

 

16.6        HEAD OF DEPARTMENTS (HOD’S)

 

16.6.1  Shall head departments allocated to them by the NEC

16.6.2  The NEC/PEC member deployed to Organisational Development shall be fulltime and shall be referred as an Organisational Development officer at such structural level.

16.6.3  Shall Head Departments allocated to them by the NEC

16.6.4  Submit quarterly report to Secretary General Office (SGO)

 

17    STAFF

 

17.1       The NWC may employ full time persons who are no longer students to assist in the work        of the organisation such persons must be former members of COSAS

17.2       Job description and condition of service shall be approved through the NWC

17.3       Staff members may be invited to attend meetings, but shall not have voting rights

17.4       Shall account to the secretary General Office

17.5       Shall perform their tasks full time basis with remuneration

 

18    RULES AND REGULATIONS

 

18.1      The NEC have the power to adopt appropriate rules and regulations to enable efficiency of the work of COSAS if and when the need arise

18.2       The PEC shall have powers to govern and improve the work of COSAS in provinces in line with the constitution of COSAS

18.3       All rules and regulations shall be founded upon the constitutional principles of COSAS, such regulations may be formulated by the PEC shall be subjected to the approval of the NEC or NWC on a provisional basis endorsed by the NEC

 

19    CODE OF CONDUCT

 

19.1       A Code of Conduct shall be Annexure 1 of the Constitution

 

20    POLICY  

 

20.1       A policy document shall be Annexure 2 of the Constitution

 

21    FINANCIAL POLICY

 

21.1       Financial Policy shall be Annexure 3 of the Constitution

 

22    DISSOLUTION

 

22.1       COSAS may be dissolved by a resolution of the National Congress voted for by a two third   majority of those present at the Congress. COSAS assets will then be sold, after payments of all debts, remaining funds will be donated to an institution or organisation pursuing the same aims and objectives that COSAS stands for.

 

23    ACCEPTANCE

 

23.1      This Constitution was adopted by the majority vote at the 14th National Congress held in Kwa – Zulu Natal Province at Durban (UKZN Westville Campus), on the 10th – 14th December 2010.

 

Signed by

------------------------------                                                                       ------------------------------Bongani Mani                                                                                Thandeka Khohliso

President – General                                                                       Secretary – General