As amended and adopted by the 17th National Congress, December 2011
Whereas we the students of South Africa, realising that we are members of the community before we are students, and committing ourselves to a non racial, non sexist and democratic society free of exploitation and national oppression in which harmony amongst people will prevail, find it necessary to articulate the aspirations of the oppressed, progressive and democratic minded and historically oppressed in a united manner and therefore determined:
The Name of the organisation shall be the South African Students Congress herein referred to as SASCO.
Colours and Symbols
1. The following shall be the principles of SASCO and shall at all times guide its deliberations including its policies, campaigns and operations and processes.
Aims and Objectives
Strive to rally students of our country to support and unite behind SASCO and actively participate in the struggle and programmes to create a non racial, non sexist, united and prosperous society;
Promote unity, patriotism and the spirit of internationalism amongst students;
Champion the General interests and Rights of Students in the socio economic and political life of the country and nation;
Strive to work for the educational, moral and cultural upliftment of students, without any intention of making profit.
To unite all South Africans and to forge an understanding and practice of non-racism, non-sexism, and democracy in this process;
To take up the demands of students of South Africa be they social, political, economic or educational;
To forge links with all relevant organisations concerned with the liberation of the oppressed and exploited people of South Africa, in the continent and World;
To strive for a democratic, unitary and non-sexist education system that will prepare all South Africans to partake to the fullest in the building of a democratic society;
To strive for the liberation of South African Women and to struggle against the oppression and exploitation of women and build women leadership.
Membership shall be open to all registered students at institutions of higher learning and further education and training, public and private as decided by Congress, regardless of nationality, race, sex, creed, sexual orientation, on condition that such shall adhere to the principles, discipline and mode of operation of the organisation;
Membership shall be confirmed annually in accordance with the academic term;
All members shall be issued with membership cards on payment of an affiliation fee, such affiliation fee shall be payable annually;
The members shall be expected to pay the subscription fee as determined by National Congress;
All members shall upon being accepted into the ranks of the organisation solemnly declare their readiness and willingness to serve the organisation;
Dual or multiple memberships by individuals shall be welcomed provided the policies and programmes of the said organisation, to which a member belongs to or may wish to belong to are not hostile to those of the organisation;
No person shall occupy any executive position or represent the organisation on any structure unless s/he is a registered student in a public or private higher education or further education and training institution.
Rights and Obligations
1. Every member of the Organisation shall have the right to:
2. All members shall be obliged to:
1. The NC shall have the following powers and duties
National General Council (NGC)
1. The NGC shall have the following powers and duties:
National Executive Committee (NEC)
1. The National Executive committee shall be comprised of the following portfolios that would be filled through direct elections during the National congress
2. The NC or NEC may annually determine whether any of the portfolios shall be designated fulltime officials, incumbent and personnel of the organisation,
3. Provincial Chairpersons and Provincial Secretaries shall be ex officio members of the NEC and shall perform any task as mandated by the NEC or NWC, where a need arises.
4. The NEC in its first meeting shall allocate portfolios to additional members, such portfolios would be at the discretion of the NEC but must include, Communication and Publicity, Political Education and Training, International Relations, Gender, and Campaigns
Duties and powers of the National Executive Committee:
The NEC shall be highest decision taking organ of SASCO in between the NC and NGC. It has also the authority to lead the organization, in line with the instructions of this Constitution.
Shall implement the decisions and instructions of the NC and NGC.
Shall ensure that the Provincial, Regional and Branch structures of the organization function democratically and effectively.
The NEC may by absolute majority of its members present and voting in a meeting, suspend or dissolve a PEC, where the PEC fail to comply with the Constitution.
Shall manage and control all the assets of the organization.
Shall receive report from Provinces and generally supervise the work of the organisation and delegate such function to the NWC, as it considers necessary.
Where a need arise the NEC may decide on other office bearers, out side the Secretary General, that should be full time in the organisation.
The NEC shall decide on which branches of the organization qualify, to be declared special branches. Such special branches shall be required to have at least 25 members in order to constitute a branch.
National Working Committee (NWC)
2. The NWC shall have the following powers and duties:
Meetings of NEC and NWC
1. The NEC meeting shall sit when;
2. The NWC meeting shall sit when:
Duties and functions of the Officials
2. Deputy President:
3. Secretary General:
4. Deputy Secretary General
5. Treasurer General:
Co-options to the NEC
The NEC during its term of office may by absolute majority of its members present and voting in the meeting co-opt not more than three additional members, at any time in order to provide a balanced representation that will reflect the character of the South African students.
Should a vacancy occur in the NEC for whatever reason, the NEC shall by absolute majority of its members present and voting in the meeting fill the vacancy by appointing a replacement. Such appointments must not exceed four.
Term of Office
1. The NEC shall be elected once in every two (2) years at the NC
The demarcation of Provinces shall be conformed in line with the provincial demarcation as provided in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
1. The PC shall have the following powers and duties:
Provincial General Council
1. The PGC shall have the following powers and duties:
Provincial Executive Committee.
1. It shall consist of the following members:
2. Regional Chairpersons and Regional Secretaries shall be ex officio members of the PEC.
3. The PWC shall be composed of the Provincial Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Provincial Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Provincial Treasurer.
4. The PEC may by absolute majority of its members present and voting in a meeting, suspend or dissolve a REC and/or BEC, where the REC and/or BEC fail to comply with the Constitution.
Meetings of PEC and PWC
1. The PEC meeting shall sit when;
2. The PWC meeting shall sit when;
Co-options at the PEC
Should a vacancy occur on the PEC for whatever reason, the PEC shall have the powers to fill the vacancy by appointing a replacement. Such appointments must not exceed four.
Term of Office
The PEC shall be elected once in every year at the Provincial Congress.
Regional Executive Committee
1. The Regional Executive Committee shall be constituted by:
2. The REC shall exist as per NC resolution.
3. The REC shall be an Executive and administrative body amongst branches that constitute it.
4. It shall be accountable to the PEC for its functioning and perform duties delegated to it by the PEC. It shall carry out the policies and programme of the organization in the region and do all the things necessary to further the interest, aims and objectives of the organization.
5. Ensure launching of branches and establishment of a database on membership within its jurisdiction. Shall also request and receive reports from the branches.
6. It shall convene the Regional General Council at least once in between Regional Congress.
7. Carry out the decisions and instructions of the Provincial Congress, PGC, Regional Congress, RGC and PEC. Shall also submit reports to the PEC, Regional Congress or RGC as required on the state of the region and such matter as may be specified.
8. Branch chairpersons shall be ex officio members of the Regional Executive Committee.
9. The REC shall be elected once in every year at the Regional Congress
1. A branch shall consist of at least 50 members or any such number as the NC may decide
2. There shall be a Branch Executive Committee (BEC) at each institution were a branch exists,
3. Each branch shall supervise all aspects of the activities of the organisation within the area of its jurisdiction, subject to decisions of upper structures, policy positions and resolutions of Congresses.
4. The Branch Executive Committee shall create a platform whereby members exercise their basic democratic rights to discuss and make recommendations on policy matters to the higher structures.
5. Each branch may submit to the REC, PEC PGC, PC, NEC, NGC or NC for consideration any recommendation concerning the organisation,
6. The Branch Executive Committee shall be elected in the Branch Annual General Meeting and shall be comprised as follows:
7. The BEC shall within seventy-two hours after its election meet and allocate tasks and functions among its members to enable it to carry out the day-to-day activities of the Branch.
8. The BEC shall meet at least once in every week.
Branch General Meeting
The BGM shall be the highest decision taking body in between AGM's.
The BEC shall convene the BGM at least once in every month. Shall also submit an update on the state of the Branch to the Branch General meeting.
The BEC or any person assigned by the BEC shall give a political input in every BGM.
Shall ratify any co-option made by the BEC.
Co-options to the BEC.
The BEC shall co-opt not more than four members to fill any vacancy. Such co-option shall be ratified by the BGM.
Discipline and conduct of members shall be regulated and governed herein by the Code of Conduct as adopted by the National Congress.
1. The quorum of the NGC and the NC shall be a two third majority. If within two hours of the appointed meeting time a quorum is not formed, the meeting shall be adjourned for not more than twenty-four hours. If at the lapse of the said time the quorum is not met, the NGC or NC shall continue provided at least five provinces are present at the meeting.
2. The quorum for all others structures shall be a simple majority. If a meeting does not quorate, it shall be adjourned for not more than four hours. If at the lapse of the said time the quorum is not reached, such a meeting shall continue provided one third majority of members is present at such a meeting.
Removal from office
1. An office bearer shall cease to hold office if or when:
There shall be a minimum of 40% gender representation in the NEC, PEC, REC and BEC
Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
1. The Functions of the IEC shall be:
2. Nominations to the NEC
3. Nomination to the PEC
4. Nomination to the REC
5. Nomination to the BEC
6. Balloting for the NEC
7. Balloting for the PEC
1. Eligible to vote
2. Eligibility to be elected
The site for the National Headquarters of the organization shall be determined by the NEC and endorsed by the National Congress.
Alumni and Convocation
There shall be Alumni and Convocation of the organisation.
Amendment to the Constitution
Any amendment to this constitution shall be submitted to National Congress for consideration and shall be passed by a two-thirds majority vote.
The National Congress of the South African Students Congress shall be entitled to decide on the dissolution of the organisation. Such a decision shall be subjected to adoption or rejection at the National Congress by a two-thirds vote.
Structure of the South African Students Congress shall be as follows:
Explanation of the terms used in the Constitution.
SASCO shall mean the South African Students' Congress
NC shall mean the National Congress
NGC shall mean the National General Council
NEC shall mean the National Executive Committee
NWC shall mean the National Working Committee
PC shall mean the Provincial Congress
PGC shall mean the Provincial General Council
PEC shall mean the Provincial Executive Committee
PWC shall mean the Provincial Working Committee
RC shall mean the Regional Congress
REC shall mean the Regional Executive Committee
AGM shall mean Annual General Meeting
BEC shall mean the Branch Executive Committee
BGM shall mean the Branch General Meeting
Ex officio member shall mean a member without voting powers
Simple majority shall mean fifty plus one
One third majority shall mean 33%
Two thirds majority shall mean 66%
Absolute majority shall mean two third majorities
IEC shall mean the Independent Electoral Commission
SASCO member shall mean any registered student who has paid the subscription fee
SASCO is an independent student organisation of South Africa pursuing tertiary education and further education and training transformation, in order to meet its aims and objectives, all its members have voluntarily joined accepting its common discipline,
The basic rights and duties of all members are therefore set out in the Constitution,
This document must therefore be seen as complementing and reinforcing rather than replacing or modifying the fundamental principles of the organisation as stated in the Constitution,
The Code of Conduct seeks to create our own standards based on the traditions of our struggle in line with our strategic objectives and convictions,
This is a document which by its nature needs to be studied and understood by the whole membership, for in last resort, it is higher political consciousness and the voluntary assumption of rights and duties by the members, which lies at the heart of the discipline of our members and Cadres.
2. Objectives of the Code of Conduct
3. Classification of offences
3.1. Grave offences against the organisation
3.2. With intent to destroy the integrity of the organisation, its personnel, property or its fighting capacity:
2.3 Infiltrate the organisation acting on behalf or in collaboration with:
3. Serious Offences
1. Any violation of the principles of the organization and standards of behaviour expected of members, which seriously threatens the safety, property, good name of SASCO or which impedes its functions, or which relates or is calculated to create disunity and demoralization amongst its members, shall be considered a serious offence.
2. Such Offences shall include:
- Acting in a manner that exposes members to serious harm or death,
- Deliberately destroying the property of the organisation or recklessly exposing it to danger,
- Behaving dishonestly in respect of the property of the organisation,
- Carelessly passing information that may be of substantial use to the opponents of the organisation,
- Accepting or seeking to accept any illicit reward for performing or not performing any task(s) on behalf of the organisation,
- Abusing office by using one position to obtain material or sexual favours or other undue advantages from members or other persons,
- Fighting or behaving in a grossly disorderly or unruly manner,
- Dealing in and consuming drugs,
- Persistently sowing racial, tribalism, regionalism and sexism in the organisation,
- Behaving in such a way as to provide serious divisions and a break down of unity in the organisation,
- Sexually assaulting or in any other way seriously offending the dignity of members,
- Persistently and without cause undermining the respect for or impeding the functioning of the structures of the organisation,
- Engaging in organized factional activity that goes outside the recognized norms of free debate in a manner that threatens the unity of the organisation
4. Violations of Discipline
1. Any person who acts in a un comradely fashion or manner and breaches the standard of conduct normally expected of members, and whose behaviour is not so serious to constitute a grave offence, shall be guilty of violation of discipline,
2. In addition to all the forms of misconduct mentioned in this code of conduct and other official documents of the organisation, violation of discipline shall include:
- Rowdy and aggressive behaviour,
- Abusive and disrespectful behaviour to other comrades,
- Gossiping maliciously to set comrades against each other,
- Carelessness in relation to the property of the organisation,
- Interfering and disrupting the orderly functioning of the organisation
- Any negligent behaviour that harms or threatens to harm the organisation and or its members
5. General Guiding Principles for Classifying Offences and Violations of the Code of Conduct:
The difference between a grave offence and serious offence lie in the degree to which the offender(s) conduct is directed towards destroying, subverting, neutralizing the effectiveness of the organisation,
The difference between a serious offence and a violation of discipline lie in the degree of intent of the offender, the extent of the actual and or potential harm to the organisation, the extent of the repetition and what would normally be regarded as a breach of discipline.
6. Schedule of Penalties
1. Should one be found guilty of a grave or serious offence or violation of discipline, the following shall be the sentences available;
7. Disciplinary Procedure
1. Adjudicating Bodies
- A complainant shall lay a charge in writing with the Secretary of the Branch, who shall bring such a complaint to the attention of the BEC.
- The BEC shall after reading such a complaint decide whether to refer the issue to the Branch Disciplinary Committee or not.
- The Disciplinary Committee shall in writing notify the respondent about the complaint raised against him/her.
- The Disciplinary Committee shall in writing notify all the parties involved about the date, venue and time of the hearing.
- After hearing all the parties involved and or interacting with whatever evidence, the Disciplinary Committee shall recommend to the BEC on the penalty to be delivered.
- The BEC shall by simple majority of its BEC members take or reject the Disciplinary Committee's recommendations. In case of a rejection the BEC must in writing provide reasons for such a rejection to the Disciplinary Committee.
- In case the BEC takes or adopt such recommendations, the issue shall be referred to the Branch General Meeting for ratification. In case the recommendation involves expulsion, the issue shall be referred to the National Congress.
- The executive committee of a branch shall appoint a Disciplinary committee of five, which shall be chaired by the Deputy Chairperson of the Branch. Three of the five must be none BEC members
- The PEC or NEC shall during the provincial or National Congress or Council constitute a Disciplinary Committee, which shall adjudicate matters arising during the meeting.
- When a member is suspended, the organ suspending him/her shall state the period, which shall not exceed one month and conditions of such suspension,
- In respect of serious offences, the period of suspension shall not exceed two months.
Reprimand shall be in public (in the presence of as many fellow members) here the organisations media apparatus shall be utilized if necessary or and appropriate. The objective of a reprimand shall not be to humiliate the person concern, but to remind him/her and the whole membership of the standards expected of members, and to reinforce a sense of unity and shared values in the organisation.
A member who holds a position of responsibility in the organisation will be demoted if the continued holding of the position is indefensible owing to the conduct or failure to act or is in explicable or embarrassing because of a particular transgression.
5. Recommendations for Expulsion
A recommendation for expulsion for an offence classified as grave or serious lies within the power of the adjudicating body, but is to be ratified by National Congress
6. Right of Appeal
An accused or member who has been found guilty of a particular offence shall have a right of appeal to a senior organ. The National executive Committee shall be the Supreme Appeal Body in between Congresses. In case of the accused being an NEC member the Supreme Appellate Body in between Congresses shall be the National General Council.
7. The Branch Structure and its Powers over Violations of Discipline
The Branch Executive Committee shall be competent to deal with all categories of misconduct and impose appropriate penalties prescribed in this Code of Conduct with the exclusion of the penalties, which would amount to expulsion.