This is our 4th article in the series of the most popular questions we are receiving from the sectional title industry, relating to the changes in sectional title administration and management, as introduced by the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act 8 of 2011 (“the STSMA”). In this article, we will be looking at the role of the chairperson of the trustees of sectional title schemes.
Under the STSMA, we now have two prescribed management rules dedicated to the position of chairperson of the trustee committee. Prescribed Management Rule (“PMR”) 12 and 18 of Annexure 1 of the Regulations to the STSMA, deal with the election, removal and office of the chairperson.
Should a body corporate only comprise of two members, the role of chairperson will be unnecessary. As it was under the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (“the STA”), from the date of establishment of the body corporate, until the conclusion of the inaugural general meeting, the developer or their nominee will be the chairperson.
Should the body corporate comprise of more than two members, after the first trustee committee is elected at the inaugural general meeting, the trustees will hold their first trustee meeting and, by majority vote, elect a chairperson from amongst their number. The chairperson elected holds office until the end of the next annual general meeting (“AGM”).
Either the trustees, at a trustees’ meeting, or the members, at a general meeting, may remove the chairperson from office, provided that the notice calling the meeting clearly states the proposed removal of the chairperson. However, should the chairperson be removed from the office of chairperson of the trustees, they will not automatically be removed from the office of trustee.
The trustees must then elect a replacement chairperson from amongst themselves, who will hold office as the chairperson for the remainder of the term of office of their predecessor, and will have the same voting rights as their predecessor.
If the newly elected chairperson vacates the chair during a trustee meeting, is not present at such a meeting, or is for any other reason unable or unwilling to preside at the meeting, the trustees present at the meeting must choose another chairperson from amongst themselves, and that further replacement chairperson will have all the powers and functions of the elected chairperson while they act as replacement chairperson.
The chairperson of the trustees must preside as chairperson at every general meeting of the body corporate, unless the members present and / or represented at the general meeting decide otherwise.
Should there be no chairperson, or the chairperson of the trustees is not present within 15 minutes after the time appointed for the general meeting, or the chairperson is unwilling, or unable to act as chairperson, the members present in person and / or represented must elect a chairperson for that general meeting.
A chairperson of the trustees, or of a general meeting, has a list of responsibilities which must be complied with. Let’s take a look at a few of these mandatory and prohibitory responsibilities.
The chairperson must ensure that:
- 1. A meeting is conducted in an orderly manner, in terms of the common law of meetings, and adjourn the meeting when it is not possible to complete or continue with the business of the meeting.
- 2. All motions tabled for member approval, and any amendments to motions, fall within the scope of the notice and the powers of the meeting.
- 3. The scheme’s rules, the minute books and any other documents relevant to the items of business on the agenda of the meeting are available at the meeting.
- 4. He/she acts fairly, impartially and courteously to attendees, and surrenders the chair to a temporary chairperson, elected by the members, should they wish to engage in a debate on an item of business.
- 5. He/she must not attempt to influence members’ views on any item of business, or indicate their vote on any item of business prior to the vote being taken.
Should you have any queries relating to this topic, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically on 021 686 3950, for a non-obligation quote. Alternatively, contact us telephonically for a 10 minute telephonic consultation at a cost of R390.00 (incl. VAT).
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 12, Issue 05, Page 01.
Zerlinda van der Merwe is an admitted Attorney of the High Court, specialist Sectional Title Attorney (BA, LLB, LLM), Zerlinda brings a wealth of experience and forms part of the Paddocks Private Consulting Division.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.