About FIDSSA

The Constitution

(revised 8 November 2019)
Constitution of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa (FIDSSA)


  1. Name
    The Federation shall be called “THE FEDERATION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES SOCIETIES OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (FIDSSA)" hereinafter referred to as the Federation and will currently consist of the following member societies:
    1. Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa (IDSSA), incorporating the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Society of Southern Africa (STDSSA)
    2. Infection Control Society of Southern Africa (ICSSA)
    3. The South African Society of Clinical Microbiology (SASCM)
    4. Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID)

  2. Liabilities
    The Federation is a body corporate and is vested with all the powers and obligations required for achieving its objects
    1. Each incorporating Society shall maintain its own constitution and rights within the umbrella constitution, as described in Articles 15, 16, 17, and 18, respectively
    2. The Federation is a body corporate and is vested with all the powers and obligations required for achieving its collective objectives
    3. No individual member of the Federation or member of the Council of the Federation shall be liable for fulfilling any obligation or settling any debts incurred on behalf of the Federation

  3. Purpose
    The purpose of the Federation shall be:
    1. To establish a common administrative structure which will provide secretarial or administrative support to its member Societies, if necessary
    2. To facilitate communication between member Societies and interest groups
    3. To generate support for and contributions to a single scientific Journal with high standards, encompassing all member Societies’ interests
    4. To provide support for a joint biennial congress at which all Societies will be equally represented

  4. Objectives
    The objectives of the Federation shall be:
    1. To advance the understanding of all infectious diseases (adult and paediatric), medical microbiology and virology, and the prevention and control of healthcare- and community-associated infections
    2. To promote the exchange of information relating to all aspects of infectious diseases (adult and paediatric), medical microbiology and virology, and the prevention and control of healthcare- and community-associated infections
    3. To foster collaboration between the clinical and laboratory based divisions of all the disciplines in the respective Societies
    4. To advise with regard to the training and maintenance of standards within the disciplines in the respective Societies
    5. To forge links with Federations and Societies representing similar interests throughout the world

  5. Membership
    The membership of the Federation will be made up of Societies that fulfil the aims and objectives of the Federation described in Article 3 and 4. Individual membership per se will be retained in the Federation. Members shall consist of Honorary, Ordinary (Full) and Associate members of the Societies constituted in Articles 15, 16, 17, and 18. Unless otherwise stated in the latter constitutions, membership shall consist of the following categories:
    1. Honorary membership. Any member of the Societies, seconded by two other members of the specific Society may nominate a person or persons for election as honorary members on the grounds of significant national or international contribution to clinical infectious diseases, microbiology, virology, infection control thereof, or to the Federation. The Council shall consider such nominations. Honorary membership is retained for life and whilst honorary members will not be eligible for office, they may assist in policy development. They shall not be required to pay any membership fees.
    2. Ordinary membership of a relevant Society will be granted to medical practitioners, nurses, medical scientists, medical technologists and pharmacists who have made a contribution to the discipline of infectious diseases, infection control, microbiology or virology and who are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa or other equivalent bodies
    3. Associate membership is offered to other interested parties such as members of the pharmaceutical industry involved with aspects of infectious diseases, lay healthcare workers and students who do not fully meet the criteria listed in 5.2
    4. All members of the Societies will have access to all communications and Federation publications
    5. Ordinary members will be granted voting privileges and eligibility for election to the Federation Council, or respective Council or Board of the Societies as constituted in Article 6 and 7 or Articles 15, 16, 17, and 18, respectively
    6. Membership is dependent on the payment of a single annual Federation membership fee, one for doctors and one for nurses and students
    7. For societies, membership is dependent on the payment of a fee to the Secretariat.
    8. For societies, the membership fees will be determined in a manner constituted in Article 8.
    9. All paid-up members of societies shall share the following benefits:
      1. Secure access to the FIDSSA website through an individual member login.
      2. Reduced registration fees to the biennial FIDSSA conference.
      3. Full-text online electronic access to the Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases.
      4. Access to all educational material offered by FIDSSA
    10. All members of societies, will be eligible to apply for grants and any other opportunities that are directly administered through the FIDSSA office, that have been launched after 1 January 2011.

  6. Office Bearers and Transaction of Business
    1. Council
      A Council shall conduct the business of the Federation, which shall consist of the president, immediate past president, the secretary-treasurer, immediate past secretary-treasurer plus five (5) Council members:
      1. Of the additional members, the following five (5) will be permanent appointments on the Council:
        1. President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa
        2. Chairperson of the Infection Control Society of Southern Africa
        3. Chairperson of the South African Society of Clinical Microbiology
        4. President of the Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID)
        5. The Editor of the Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases (Non-voting member of Council)
      2. The Council shall have the power to co-opt additional members if necessary
      3. The Council shall have the power to appoint subcommittees for special tasks, if deemed necessary or requested from the Societies; delivery of such subcommittees will be within a given mandate and time frame
      4. Election and terms of office
        1. The Council members shall be appointed/elected for a four (4) year term and may be eligible for re-election once for a second 4-year term
        2. The Council shall appoint a president elect, who will be inducted at the next biennial business meeting of the Federation
        3. Nominations for the president and other officers shall be made by the members of the Council on nomination forms and shall reach the secretary four (4) weeks before the biennial Council meeting
        4. Each nomination shall bear the signature of at least two members of the Council as proposer and seconder and shall have been accepted in writing by the nominee
        5. Fifty percent of the Council members shall form a quorum at a Council meeting;
        6. In the event of the death or resignation of a Council member the Council shall appoint a successor for the remainder of the term of office
        7. If there should be a deadlock on any decision at a business, committee or meeting, the president will have a deliberative as well as a casting vote
        8. No Council member shall receive remuneration for services to the Federation
      5. Secretary-Treasurer
        1. The secretary-treasurer shall notify the members of the Council of a forthcoming meeting at least six (6) weeks beforehand and shall notify them of the agenda four (4) weeks before the meeting
        2. The secretary-treasurer shall keep minutes of the proceedings of the Council’s meetings
        3. The secretary-treasurer shall be responsible for fiscal management and will have signatory powers together with a designated member of the Council
        4. The secretary-treasurer shall report on the financial status of the Federation and its members by presenting a treasurer’s report and an external audited balance sheet at the meetings of the Federation and Council
        5. The secretary-treasurer may, if required or deemed necessary, also present each board or council of the respective Societies, an external audited balance sheet at the biennial general meetings of the Societies

  7. Congress
    A meeting of the Federation representing the member Societies shall be held at least every two (2) years.
    1. The congress programme shall include:
      1. Scientific, instructional sessions and exhibits
      2. A biennial General Meeting of the Federation
      3. The biennial General Meetings of the Societies as constituted in articles 15, 16, 17, and 18
    2. The biennial congress of the Federation may, at the discretion of the Council, be held in conjunction with any other interested societies or parties involved in furthering the advancement of medical microbiology, virology, infectious diseases (adult and paediatric), and the control of healthcare- and community-associated infections
    3. Local organising committee (LOC):
      1. The arrangements for the biennial meeting of the Federation shall be made by a LOC that will be representative of all Societies
      2. Each Society to nominate a suitable candidate
      3. This committee will elect a chairperson and shall have the power to co-opt any other members of the Societies should it be necessary
      4. Most of the appointed members of the LOC should preferably reside in the same geographical area where the biennial meeting is scheduled to take place but this is not mandatory
      5. The nominated members of the LOC shall be responsible for decisions regarding the “theme of the congress” if appropriate, academic programme including plenary and parallel sessions of each Society, acceptance of submissions and social programme
      6. The Council, in conjunction with LOC, shall be responsible for decisions regarding the acceptance of the planning budget as constituted in Article 7.5
      7. The LOC shall be accountable and a short report, full financial statement and audited accounts shall be submitted for approval to the Council within six (6) months of the conclusion of the meeting
    4. After conclusion of the congress, any revenue or profit may be utilized if necessary, to cover:
      1. The Society’s Journal (referred to in article 9) if not profitable, any outstanding costs as well as any outstanding annual honoraria payable for secretarial services provided to manage the Journal
      2. If salary of the secretariat is not sponsored or covered by Society membership fees, any outstanding fees due to them
      3. After ratification and endorsement by the Council of the extent of the contribution, above payments to be divided in equal proportions amongst the member Societies of the Federation
    5. A summary of the proceedings shall be circulated afterwards to all the members of the Societies.
    6. Business meeting of Federation:
      1. Written notice of the business meeting shall be sent to all members of the Societies at least three (3) months before the date of such meeting and shall be notified of the agenda one (1) month before the meeting
      2. During this meeting, the president will deliver a report on the activities of the Federation and induct the president elect, if applicable
      3. Any member of the Societies, may bring before this meeting, any matter of business requiring the attention of the Federation; notice of such business shall be made to the Secretary in writing before the meeting, and shall be included on the agenda
      4. Quorum: Twenty (20) members present of whom at least six shall be officers, at least two of whom will be permanent members of the Council as constituted in Article 6.1.1
    7. Special or ad hoc meetings:
      1. Special or ad hoc meetings of the Federation may be called by the President at such times and places as may be determined by a majority vote of the Council; a subcommittee can be appointed and constituted for special tasks
      2. Written notice, stating the purpose, place and time of any special meeting shall be sent to each Society member not less than one (1) month before the date of such meeting
    8. Any local branch of any Society in accordance with the respective constitutions may organize special meetings or day congresses
      1. Any profit of such local meetings or day congresses to be expended subject to the control of the council, board or office bearers of the respective Societies, in a manner which is respectively constituted in article 14,15,16,17, and 18

  8. Subscription, Dues and Funds
    The administration of the Federation will collect annual subscriptions on behalf of its member Societies. The subscription fee for membership of the Societies and for nurses or doctors shall be determined by a majority vote of members of the Societies at the biennial Business meetings of the Federation
    1. Failure to pay subscriptions within a set period will render the member liable to loss of privileges
    2. Subscription fees shall be paid during the course of the calendar year for that calendar year’s membership, unless alternative arrangements have been made
    3. The secretariat will send out accounts to all members of the Societies and will collect the dues on behalf of the Societies
    4. Honorary members shall be exempt from dues
    5. Membership subscription funds to the Societies shall be deposited (and allocated to the relevant Societies) in the joint bank account of the Federation in a recognized financial institution
    6. Disposal of membership fees shall include:
      1. Disbursement to the Society that the member denotes as the primary affiliated society.
      2. Disbursement to the FIDSSA secretariat to cover the costs of administration.
      3. Disbursement to the Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases.

      The relative proportions of these disbursements will be based on the needs of each recipient and be decided upon by the Council

    7. Grants and Endowments: The Council is authorized to accept in the name of the Federation or respective Societies, any grants or endowments which are designated for administration and use by the Federation or Societies, provided that the purpose of such grants and endowments is, in the judgment of the Council, consistent with the objectives and purposes of the Federation or the different Societies
    8. The subscriptions, grants and endowments shall be allocated accordingly to each Society and expended, subject to the control of the council, board or office bearers of the respective Societies, in a manner which is respectively constituted in article 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18
    9. The Council is empowered on request by a Society, to invest the capital of each Society as they consider advisable but otherwise, as stated in article 8.7, have no financial control over the funds of each Society
    10. The secretary-treasurer shall present an audited financial report on the financial status of the Federation at the biennial Council and Business meetings of the Federation

  9. Journal
    The official journal of the Federation will be The Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases
    1. The Journal will be published and distributed electronically, to all members of the Societies on a quarterly basis
    2. The editorial board will be representative of all member Societies

  10. Amendments to Constitution
    Any amendments to the Constitution of the Federation will be dealt with as follows:
    1. Amendments shall first be submitted in writing to the Secretary-Treasurer for consideration by the Council
    2. Thereafter the proposed changes together with the Council’s recommendations shall be circulated to all members of the Societies at least one (1) month before the biennial Business meeting of the Federation
    3. A two-thirds majority of those present at the Business meeting of the Federation will be required for adoption of the proposed amendments

  11. Database
    The Federation secretariat to keep and maintain a separate database of all members of the respective societies. The FIDSSA database is not for distribution unless for bona fide Society purposes. Requests for details of members of the Societies to be dealt with as follows:
    1. A request for details and any other requests that are received such as suitable advertisements, position and vacancies should be vetted by the Council.
    2. If acceptable, preferably, rather than giving out a list, a quote should be given with a charge to the Federation after which the secretariat to send out the communication on their behalf

  12. Legal Personality
    The Federation is a legal entity that exists independent of its members, has perpetual legal succession, regardless of the variation of membership and is a non-profit making organization
    1. The Federation can act as a defendant or plaintiff in any competent court
    2. The Federation can obtain, retain or expropriate its own assets and can deal with them and can undertake its own obligations
    3. These assets and liabilities are independent of each individual member’s assets and liabilities.

  13. Internal Audit
    An internal annual audit may be performed by a member of the Federation in good standing and who is not a member of the Council

  14. Dissolution
    Any Society has the right to terminate membership to the Federation, with due notice being given. In the event of the Federation being dissolved the remaining assets shall be paid to a non-profit organization devoted to medical research to be designated by the majority of the Council holding office at the time of dissolution

  15. Constitution of the Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa (IDSSA)

  16. Constitution of the Infection Control Society of Southern Africa (ICSSA)

  17. Constitution of the South African Society of Clinical Microbiology (SASCM)

  18. Constitution of the Southern African Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (SASPID)