An extraordinary general meeting was convened at the recent Spier conference in Stellenbosch to consider two issues. Firstly, to move the date of the National AGM to co-incide with the date of the annual SATSA conference (August). Secondly, to consider a new, tiered membership structure. There was a quorum present and the first motion was unanimously supported.
There are two key motivating reasons supporting the move to a tiered membership structure. The first concerns finances. The current membership and fee setup do not generate sufficient funds to cover the operating expenses of the organisation. The second reason is equity. Large tourism players are paying the same fees as far smaller players. Moreover, some hotel groups have affiliated all their properties as component members, whist other have not.
A three-tiered structure was proposed with the first category being all businesses with a turnover of less than R10 million. Annual fees for this tier would be R5 000 (excluding VAT) per annum. The second tier would encompass all business with a turnover of between R10 million and R100 million and the fees here would be R15 000 (excluding VAT) per annum. Businesses with a turnover in excess of R100 million would fall into the third tier and fees here would be R35 000 per annum.
There was also some discussion on the number of votes per tier, as well as on the need to create an introductory level of membership to cater for SMME businesses. Members raised concerns about the R10 million threshold level between the first and second tiers as possibly being too low.
The extraordinary general meeting voted to approve a new three-tiered structure, with a provision of an introductory level of membership. The suggestions of Platinum, Gold and Bronze categories was rejected in favour of Introductory, First, Second and Third tiers. The notion that the number of votes would be lined to membership categories (i.e. the third category would have more votes that the first and second) was rejected in favour of one vote per member. Management were mandated to prepare a new membership structure based on the tiered principal, for introduction as and when new membership invoices are sent out for the forthcoming year.
To sum up then, SATSA announces the following new membership and fee structure commensurate in the financial year 2015.
- All members with a turnover less than R20 million per annum. Please note that this has been raised from the original R10 million threshold level originally mooted at the meeting, and in response to feedback received from members.
- Annual Fees – R5 000 (excluding VAT) per annum.
- All members with a turnover greater than R20 million, but less than R100 million per annum.
- Annual Fees – R15 000 (excluding VAT) per annum.
- All members with a turnover greater than R100 million per annum.
- Annual Fees – R35 000 (excluding VAT) per annum
- Emerging businesses.
- This category is to enable to SMMEs to join the SATSA family and to ultimately grow to full membership status.
- In order to qualify for membership in this category, prospective business must qualify for membership of the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP).
- Companies that join this category would enjoy all the benefits for SATSA membership, but will not qualify for the bonding scheme, nor will they be able to vote at the AGM.
- Annual Fees – R3 000 (excluding VAT) per annum
- All associations will be obliged to take up membership in one of the full membership categories.
- A debit order facility will be available if members choose to pay in instalments. This will be over a 10-month period.
- Members will be asked to inform SATSA which category they fall into. This will be done on an honour system and we are confident we can rely on the integrity of members in this respect. Please can you revert to the SATSA Membership Manager, Lizzie Mokgothu – firstname.lastname@example.org – indicating which category of membership your company falls into for the 2015 financial year.
- SATSA will work closely with larger companies to ensure that they are accorded the correct membership tier and that their operating units are appropriately included. If you have any queries in this regard, please contact Jenny Mewett – email@example.com
- Voting – each full member would be entitled to one vote at the AGM.
- The new membership fees will be implemented when invoices are sent out in the new financial year, which begins 1 January 2015.
A Comparison to the Status Quo:
- Current chapter membership is R3 900 per annum. An 8% inflation increase would raise fees next year to R4 200 pa. This effectively means an R800 increase on what Chapter members will now be paying.
- National membership is currently R6 900 per annum. An 8% increase would mean fees of R7 450 for the forthcoming year. Members who fall into the First Category are thus being accorded a R2 450 reduction in fees!