The Durban branch AGM was held as usual at the Durban Country Club on 5 February. As is sadly often the case for AGMs, attendance was lower than we have come to expect at our normal monthly meetings, but the mood was upbeat and the members interactive and enthusiastic.
In keeping with our focus on students and education, the evening began with a short presentation from Ms. Vuyiswa Mazibuko (from MUT) who won the student prize for the second semester. With a full bursary from Sasol for whom she will shortly be working, this is a rising star to watch and we look forward to her progress. She won the award for her work on a project to develop a PLC-based automatic car washing system.
Secretary John Owen-Ellis went through the financials on behalf of treasurer Kevin McIlroy and these were accepted and approved. Members were reminded that we are not there to make a profit but to ensure we have sufficient cash reserves to give something back to the industry we serve – through technology evenings, student functions, training and social events.
Chairman Hennie Prinsloo said that overall it had been a successful year for the Durban branch and of course achieving platinum status was the highlight as it meant that the branch had achieved the benchmarks set to service the industry correctly. The year was not without a few lessons learnt though, especially in terms of timing for student-related events and spreading the committee’s workload out properly during the year. He thanked the outgoing committee for their hard work.
Johan Maartens took pride of place next and took us through the changes to the SAIMC – from a Non-Profit Organisation to a properly structured Non-Profit Company with an associated CEO and board of directors. He was as always, eloquent and well versed and his presentation elicited some lively interaction from the floor. For Johan’s first communication as the new CEO please see ‘SAIMC: From the office of the CEO’.
Electronic voting for the new branch management team (formerly committee) had taken place earlier and John Owen-Ellis announced the results of the election. The new team is as follows: Hennie Prinsloo, John Owen-Ellis, Jane van der Spuy, Paul Sikhakhane, Ralph Naidoo, Howard Lister and Kevin McElroy. The Durban team has resolved to give some serious thought as to how best to implement a succession plan and evolve this committee, which has remained much the same for many years now.
The practice of co-opting other members to the committee has worked well in recent years and will be continued through 2020. The co-opted members will be invited and finalised at the first committee meeting, along with the branch management team portfolios.
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