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How is AfrikaBurn managed?

Please note: Director and Member nominations close at the end of August annually.

 

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

The Members could be compared to shareholders of a public or private company in 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 MOI 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 public or private for-profit company:

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

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. 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. 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. Have a clear understanding of and able to practically apply AfrikaBurn’s core principles.
  3. Understand the duties and obligations involved in being a Member. Being a Member is not a title, it’s a volunteer job.
  4. 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 fulfilment of their duties. This broadly speaking means you must be constructively involved for a minimum of 120 hrs per year = 10 hrs per month = 2 hrs per week.
  5. A Member must be willing to attend a minimum of 76% of all Members meetings per cycle, including the Bosberaad, Special Members Meetings (SMMs) and Annual General Meeting (which are mandatory). Members living outside of the Cape Town area can join meetings online.

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.

Members are not paid for their service. They provide their time voluntarily and free-of-
charge.

Application Process

To become a Member, a letter of motivation is required to be submitted along with a letter of recommendation that endorses the person 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, i.e.: they’ve been involved in the organisation or have volunteered at past events or have been part of a creative crew/Collective.

  1. Have a conversation with your prospective nominee. Make sure they agree to stand for election. If you are putting yourself forward, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have a conversation with yourself too… this ain’t no picnic!
  2. Contact [email protected] and request the Member Interview Questionnaire.
  3. Submit your application pack to [email protected]. Applications should include (in PDF format please):
  • The completed Interview Questionnaire
  • The completed VIA survey (link provided in Interview Questionnaire)
  • The applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  • A letter of motivation from the person being put forward.
  • A letter of recommendation from a member of our community (please include their contact details). This can be from anyone, but it provides context if this is from a past (or present) Member or Director, or anyone who has been involved in AfrikaBurn in the past (or present), as part of the operations team, as a portfolio volunteer or as part of a creative crew/Collective

Candidates will be invited to interviews conducted by a panel of Members & Directors. The Member Secretariat will compile the applications (including interview notes) and submit it to the Members to consider.

Membership application is open all year round, and Prospective Members who want to stand for formal Membership participate in an induction process (during which they will have a voice but no formal no voting rights), until the formal vote at the AGM.

Nominations for voting at the AGM at the end of October each year closes at the end of August annually. Any Membership applications received after this date will go onto the induction process and be formally voted for at the AGM in the next cycle.

A member shall be appointed by a majority vote (51%) in favour, of all eligible votes of the
Members.

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.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a Member, click here to download the Fact Sheet.

 

The Directors:

What are the obligations of being a Director?

Directors have broad executive responsibility for overseeing the on-going operations of the company towards its object as set out in the MOI. In AfrikaBurn’s case, this is primarily responsibility for the strategic planning; oversight of the annual AfrikaBurn calendar of events; policy development; ensuring resources and compliance for operations and activities; sound management of AfrikaBurn’s finances and legal and fiduciary responsibilities to the non-profit company. 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 fulfilment of their duties.

Directors have broad executive responsibility for strategic decision making and overseeing the on-going operations of the organisation towards its remit as set out in the MOI. In AfrikaBurn’s case, this is primarily responsibility for the strategic planning; oversight of the annual AfrikaBurn calendar of events; policy development; ensuring the resources (including human) and compliance for operations and activities; sound management of AfrikaBurn’s finances; and legal and fiduciary governance of the non-profit company.

Becoming a Director is no lightweight matter. They must be willing and able to diligently fulfil their duties timeously (especially important to note for those Directors involved in AfrikaBurn operations). Directors are required to hit the ground running – so need to have experience working at a strategic level.

Directors 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 fulfilment of their duties.

Directors are required to adhere to all staff policy and procedures, including participating in an annual peer/performance review, towards fulfilling KPAs. Progress is shared with members to ensure transparency and accountability as it is an elected position.

What is the structure of the AfrikaBurn Board of Directors?

AfrikaBurn is currently undertaking a board restructuring process. The new Board will be
elected/appointed on 29 February 2020 and will take part in a transitory hand-over phase before taking office on 1 June 2020. The new Board will consist of a maximum of three Executive Directors and a maximum of three Non-Executive Directors.

Non-Executives Directors are appointed on a part-time basis and are required to be external from the operations of the organisation. They drive forward the vision and strategy of the organisation. Non-executive Directors may not hold any other formal or paid position within the operations of the organisation.

Executive Directors are appointed on a full-time or a part-time basis, to interface with the operations of the organisation, execute decisions of the Board, and drive forward the vision and strategy of the organisation. Executive Directors may not hold any other formal or paid position within the operations of the organisation (unless determined otherwise by the Members from time to time by way of an ordinary resolution).

What are the characteristics of a Director?

AfrikaBurn seeks to have a culturally and cognitively diverse Directorship, that incorporates a range of skills and expertise at a strategic level. Candidates from all walks of life, backgrounds and interests are encouraged to apply; however, in all cases an individual must:

  1. See their role as one of service to the AfrikaBurn community and carry out their duties with integrity.
  2. Have sound leadership skills, organisation skills and communication skills.
  3. Have a sound grasp of and ability to practically apply AfrikaBurn’s guiding principles.
  4. Understand the duties and obligations involved in being a Director. Each Director’s responsibilities are described in an agreement, which is signed by the Director at the start of his/her service term.
  5. Take up the position on a full-time or half-time basis, in the case of Executive Directors.
  6. Be able to attend 1 full board meeting a month, and commit an estimated 2 hours a week, in the case of Non-Executive Directors.
  7. Have clear “line of sight” within their lives for at least the next 12 months – and particularly for the 3 months prior, and 3 months post, the annual AfrikaBurn event.
     

How do Directors get appointed?

Directors can 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.

While it is no longer a strict requirement, it is of benefit for any potential Director to have participated in Burn events previously, to fully understand the nature of the event as a mechanism for catalysing the organisation’s objects, and as Directors perform active service at the AfrikaBurn event.

Nominations are open all year round, but must be submitted to the Members by no later than 26 January 2020 for election/appointment on 29 February 2020.

The new Board of Directors will take office on 1 June 2020 and will be required to participate in transionary activities during the hand-over period between 29 February 2020 and 1 June 2020.

Directors are elected/appointed in line with AfrikaBurn’s MOI for a 3-year term (and can stand for a maximum of 3 consecutive terms).

Application Process

If you, or someone you know, has the experience and drive to support the organisation and the community it serves through this vital role, please follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you (or your prospective nominee) are willing and able to stand for election and can make the time available to honour this commitment.
  2. Contact [email protected] and request the Director Interview Questionnaire.
  3. Prepare the application documentation. Applications should include (in PDF format please):
    1. The completed Interview Questionnaire
    2. The completed VIA survey
    3. The applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
    4. A letter of motivation from the person being put forward.
    5. A letter of endorsement from someone in our community. This can be from anyone, but it provides context if this is from a past (or present) Member or Director, or anyone who has been involved in AfrikaBurn in the past (or present), as part of the operations team, as a portfolio
      volunteer or as part of a creative crew.
  4. Submit your application pack to [email protected] by COB on the 26th day of January 2020.
     

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interviews conducted by a panel of Members.
The Member Secretariat will compile the applications (including interview notes) and submit it to the Members to consider.

Click here for a list of Current Directors and past Directors. AfrikaBurn and its participants are grateful for their passion, contribution and love.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a Director, click here to download the Director Fact Sheet.

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