As per the rules of the Fund, member elected Trustees can serve on the Board for a three year term, following which, elections need to take place. The member elected Trustees’ term of office expired in August 2019 and as such, member elections need to be held.
You will recall that Board of Trustees had previously agreed to manage the nomination and election process electronically to ensure a more efficient and less costly process than previous years. This was discussed at the AGM held in February 2020 and it was proposed that the member Trustee elections would commence in March 2020.
However, on 23 March 2020, the President of South Africa imposed a national lockdown which commenced on 26 March 2020 at midnight due to the Covid-19 pandemic and although the country is now on lockdown level 2, the conditions pertaining to meetings still subsist.
Although the nomination and election process is to be in done electronically, there are a significant number of members who do not have computers or smartphones and as such, would need to do their nominations and voting at a central shared space, across campuses. The COVID-19 protocols currently limit the numbers of employees who could use the central shared spaces to everyone for the election process and as a result, the member Trustee election process has had to be put on hold until such time that it is safe to continue.
Communication regarding the necessary steps will be forwarded to all members, once the Trustees have agreed upon the dates for the election process to commence.
It is important to note that whilst the current member Trustees’ term of office has expired, all members of the Board have been re-appointed as Section 26 Trustees by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority to arrange free and fair member trustee elections aimed at ensuring that the UWFR Board is properly constituted.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused through this delay and assure you that finalising this is a top priority for the Trustees, whilst at the same time, keeping all members safe.