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San Clan 2009 Masked Photographer 2009 Hand of Man 2011 Light Sculpture 2008

How is AfrikaBurn managed?

As a Non-Profit Company, AfrikaBurn has a two-tiered governance structure consisting of Members and Directors. AfrikaBurn’s Memorandum of Incorporation (or founding documents) clearly and legally define the organisation’s purpose and object – both of which explicitly include the core principles of Communal Effort, Participation, Civic Responsibility, Immediacy, Decommodification, Gifting, Leaving No Trace, Radical Inclusion, Radical Self-Reliance, Radical Self-Expression and Each One Teach One.

The Members could be compared to shareholders of a “regular” company is some ways. Members broadly exercise their duties and powers in general meetings or annual general meetings. For example, Members have the obligation and power to appoint and remove directors, appoint or remove other members, or amend the founding documents of the company (only if necessary). They have the obligation to ensure that appointed Members and Directors are fulfilling the purpose and object as defined in the Memo and such other things as agreed from time to time. However, there are two key areas in which Members are very different to shareholders of a “regular” for profit company:

  1. Assets or profits of the company may not under any circumstance be distributed to Members.
  2. They are not liable for the debts or actions of the company. In the case of AfrikaBurn, their liability is limited to R1.

 

The Directors have broad executive responsibility for the on-going day-to-day operation of the company. In AfrikaBurn’s case, this is primarily responsibility for the planning and management of the annual AfrikaBurn event, responsibility for the ongoing management of AfrikaBurn’s finances, and responsibility for the timely production of audited annual financial statements which are to be presented at the Annual General Meeting (held each year in October).

To become a Member, a letter of motivation is required to be submitted along with a letter of recommendation that endorses the prson who is being put forward. This letter would need to come from someone who has significantly been involved in AfrikaBurn in some manner and has cultural context, ie: they’ve been involved in the 0rganisation, or have volunteered at past events or have been part of a creative crew.

For info on how you can become a Member, email [email protected]

 

What are the obligations/expectations of being a volunteer Member? And how do Members get appointed, resign, get honoured?

AfrikaBurn is legally required to have a minimum of 7 members. Members either come forward voluntarily and apply or are encouraged to do so by the AfrikaBurn community at large. Any person involved in our greater community may apply to become a Member. Applications must be submitted to existing Members at least two months prior to the AGM. There is no fixed voluntary service term for Members; so therefore Members remain Members until they resign or do not meet their commitments and are requested to resign by (over 66% including proxy votes of the) other Members.

In order to be eligible to be a Member, and in order to remain a Member, a candidate must fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  1. Must have actively participated in (and attended) a minimum of three AfrikaBurn events and must have actively participated in (and attended) at least two of the last three events.
  2. Must have a clear understanding of AfrikaBurn’s core principles, and participate in AfrikaBurn events in such a manner which clearly demonstrates a deep commitment to the guiding principles.
  3. Must understand the duties and obligations involved in being a Member. Being a Member is not a title, it’s a volunteer job.
  4. Must be willing to diligently fulfil his/her responsibilities as a Member and contribute (from time to time) to assisting others within the organisation with the fulfillment of their duties. This broadly speaking means you must be constructively involved and focused – rather than absent and/or not constructively involved.
  5. Must be willing to attend (and actually attend) a minimum of three quarterly AfrikaBurn Members’ and Directors’ meetings in a year including the Annual General Meeting. This requirement may somewhat be relaxed for Members living outside of the Cape Town area. However, attending the AGM is essential.

 

Candidates from all walks of life, backgrounds and interests are encouraged to apply; however, existing Members will be firmly guided by the above requirements when considering a nomination. Nominated Members are appointed if they receive a minimum 66% majority vote (including proxy votes) of the Members at a properly constituted meeting of the Members (which will generally be the AGM). If Members are not willing (or able) for whatever reason to fulfil the above obligations, they are required to notify their fellow Members and formally resign at the next AGM.

Members are not paid for their service. They provide their time voluntarily and free-of-charge. Members do not receive free tickets to the AfrikaBurn event or any other “in kind” benefit.

Click here for a list of Current Members with contact details, Founding Members and past Members. AfrikaBurn and its participants are grateful for their passion, contribution and love.

 

What are the obligations/expectations of being a Director? And how do Directors get appointed, resign, get honoured?

Directors have broad executive responsibility for the on-going day-to-day management and operation of the company and its activities.

In AfrikaBurn’s case, this is primarily responsibility for the planning and management of the annual AfrikaBurn event, on-going communication with the community during the year, fundraising for AfrikaBurn and creative works at AfrikaBurn, responsibility for the on-going management of AfrikaBurn’s finances, and responsibility for the timely production of audited annual financial statements which are to be presented at the Annual General Meeting (held each year in October). Various Directors manage and have responsibility for various “Portfolios” as defined in the organisation’s structure. Directors also manage co-ordinators of various portfolios and assist them and guide them in the fulfilment of their duties.

AfrikaBurn has a minimum 3 Directors and a maximum of 7 Directors. Directors either come forward voluntarily or are nominated by the AfrikaBurn community at large. Any person involved in our greater community may nominate someone to become a Director and nominations are always welcome. Nominations must be submitted to existing Members at least two months prior to the AGM. A nominated applicant Director will be appointed if he/she receives a minimum 51% (including proxy votes) of the vote of the Members at a properly constituted meeting of the Members (which will generally speaking be the AGM).

In order to be eligible to become a Director, and in order to remain a Director, a candidate must fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  1. Must have actively participated in (and attended) a minimum of three AfrikaBurn events.
  2. Must have a clear understanding of AfrikaBurns core principles, and participate in AfrikaBurn’s events in such a manner which clearly demonstrates commitment to AfrikaBurns principles.
  3. Must understand the duties and obligations involved in being a Director. Each Directors responsibilities/portfolios are described in an agreement which is signed by the Director at the start of his/her service term.
  4. Becoming a Director is not a lightweight matter. When volunteering for such a position, the candidate must have clear “line of sight” within their lives for the next 12 months – and particularly for the three months prior, and month of, the annual AfrikaBurn event. They must be confident that they can and will allocate sufficient time to diligently fulfil their portfolios. Directors have many practical jobs and responsibilities which have to be fulfilled according to a strict timeline. This is especially important for those Directors involved in detailed planning and management of the AfrikaBurn event.
  5. Directors must be willing to attend (and actually attend) a minimum of eight monthly AfrikaBurn Directors meetings in a year including the Annual General Meeting.
  6. The Directors are effectively the leaders of the AfrikaBurn organisation on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis. All Directors must therefore have reasonably good leadership skills, organisation skills and communication skills. They must see and fulfil their role as one of service to the AfrikaBurn community. They must be reliable, honest, and respectful in the fulfilment of their duties and their communication with all community participants. They have a legal “fiduciary” duty to fulfil the purpose and objects of the AfrikaBurn Non profit Company… and to do so in a manner which at all times is in compliance with the Companies Act and laws of South Africa. However, Directors also enjoy the full protection of “limited liability” in terms of the companies act, and cannot be held responsible for the actions/activities of the company as long as they have not been grossly negligent in the fulfillment of their duties.

Candidates from all walks of life, backgrounds and interests are encouraged to apply; however, existing Members will be firmly guided by the above requirements when considering a nomination. It’s important to note that overall AfrikaBurn continuity and experience of nominated Directors and the Directors team as a whole will be factored into decision making. If Directors are not willing (or able) for whatever reason to fulfil their obligations and/or duties, they are required to notify their fellow Directors and Members ASAP and formally resign as soon as practically possible.

Click here for a list of Current Directors (with their portfolio and contact details) and past Directors. AfrikaBurn and its participants are grateful for their passion, contribution and love.