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Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998)


Constitution of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education & Training Authority (MERSETA)

25. Schedule 4 : Code of Conduct




The Code of Conduct is for all constituencies of the MERSETA and members of committees and any other MERSETA stakeholder structure including ad-hoc structures is subject to the Code of Conduct.


The MERSETA and its members, are committed to a policy of fair dealing and integrity in the conduct of their business. This commitment, which is actively endorsed by the MERSETA, is based on a fundamental belief that business should be conducted honestly, fairly and legally. The Governing Board expects all members of the MERSETA to share its commitment of high moral, ethical and legal standards.




This document outlines the MERSETAs Code of Conduct ("the Code"), which applies equally to all members of the MERSETA. Compliance with the Code by all members is mandatory.




Members must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, which regulate their activities for and on behalf of the MERSETA.




4.1 Members are expected to perform their duties conscientiously, honestly and in accordance with the best interests of the MERSETA. Members must not use their positions and or knowledge gained through their relationship with the MERSETA for private or personal advantage, or in such a manner that a conflict or an appearance of conflict arises between the MERSETAs interests and their own personal interests.


4.2 A conflict could arise where a member, family members of a business with which the member or family member is associated obtains a gain, advantage or profit by virtue of the member’s position or knowledge gained through that position.


4.3 If members perceive that a course of action which has been pursued is being pursued or is intended to be pursued, may give rise to a conflict of interest, they must immediately disclose all known facts to the Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer will, in consultation with the Executive Committee, make a determination, which determination is final and binding.


4.4 Where conflict of interest cannot be avoided by a Committee member, he or she shall immediately disclose the nature of the conflict to the Chairperson of the Committee and shall recuse himself or herself from any related decision making.


4.5 Members who hold, or have been invited to hold, outside directorships should take particular care to ensure compliance with all provisions of this Code. When outside business directorships are being considered, prior approval must be obtained from the Chief Executive Officer.


4.6 Relationships with Clients, Customers and Suppliers.


4.7 Members should ensure that they are independent from any business organisation having a contractual relationship with the MERSETA or providing goods or services to the MERSETA if that association might influence or create the impression of influencing their decisions or the performance of their MERSETA duties. Under these circumstances, Members should not invest in, nor acquire a financial interest, directly or indirectly in such an organisation or should disclose such relationship to the Governing Board.




Where a member is unable to attend a meeting he/she shall inform the Chairperson of the Committee no later than forty eight (48) hours prior to the meeting.




6.1 Gifts, Hospitality and Favours


Gifts, hospitality and entertainment may only be offered to a third party if they are consistent with customary business practice, modest in value, not in contravention of any applicable law and where public disclosure thereof would not embarrass the MERSETA.


A member should not accept gifts, hospitality or other favours from suppliers of goods or services. However, acceptance of the following would not be considered contrary to such policy:

6.1.1 advertising matter of limited commercial value
6.1.2 occasional business entertaining such as lunches, cocktail parties or dinners; and
6.1.3 occasional personal hospitality such as tickets to local sporting events or theatres.


Members may not accept personal favours or other preferential treatment that might in return place the recipient under any obligation.


Unsolicited gifts, not within reasonable and acceptable limits, should be returned or donated to a reputable charity. The recipient of an unsolicited gift, not within reasonable and acceptable limits, must immediately advise the Chief Executive Officer of such unsolicited gifts, in which case the latter will resolve to return the gift, alternatively donate it to a respectable charitable organisation.




7.1 Members must at all times ensure that the MERSETAs funds and property are used only for legitimate business purposes. When the MERSETAs funds are to be spent, it is the responsibility of the member to use good judgement and to ensure that appropriate value is received by the MERSETA for such expenditures.


7.2 Any member, who becomes aware that the MERSETAs funds or property may be used in a fraudulent or improper manner, should immediately and in confidence advise the Chief Executive Officer of such incident in the manner prescribed below.




No committee member is entitled to remuneration with the exception of the members of the Audit Committee.




The MERSETA's books and records must reflect all business transactions in an accurate and timely manner in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. Non-disclosure of revenues, expenses, assets or liabilities is not permitted. Members responsible for the accounting and record-keeping functions are expected to be diligent in enforcing proper practices.




In the regular course of business, the MERSETA, accumulates a considerable amount of infomation. The following principles are to be observed:


10.1 Obtaining and Safeguarding information


Only information necessary to the MERSETAs business shall be collected, used and retained. Personal information should be obtained directly from the person or organisation concerned. Only reputable and reliable sources should be used to supplement this information.


10.2 Access to information


No confidential information may be disclosed by any member, including but not limited to information regarding products, plans, business transactions, personal information, salaries, without prior authorisation unless in the ordinary course of business.




11.1 Any contravention of the Code is considered to be a serious offence. Any member who suspects that they may have contravened the Code should immediately advise the Chief Executive Officer.


11.2 Members suspecting a contravention of the Code by another member should report this, preferably in writing, to the Chief Executive Officer. By following this process, confidentiality will be maintained and the matter will be investigated impartially.


11.3 A contravention of the Code may result in disciplinary action being taken that could result in the termination of membership to the MERSETA.




12.1 If a member is reasonably suspected of having breached this Code then the Governing Board may convene a hearing into the matter.


12.2 The Chairperson must notify the member in writing of the charges against him or her.


12.3 The member must be afforded an opportunity to represent his/her case. This includes calling witnesses, giving oral evidence and presenting documentary evidence.


12.4 The Chairperson must chair the meeting.


12.5 If the Chairperson, on a balance of probability finds that the member has indeed transgressed the Code then the Chairperson may make a recommendation in writing to the Governing Board to sanction the member by issuing a written warning or by removing the member.


12.6 The Chairperson must set out briefly the charge against the member, the evidence led at the hearing as well as his I her finding and recommendation.


12.7 The Governing Board makes the final decision on the appropriate sanction of the member.


12.8 If the member is removed by way of this disciplinary process then the organisation which the member represented may then nominate a new member for appointment to the Governing Board.


12.9 If the transgression constitutes a criminal offence then the Chairperson must report the matter to the South African Police Services.