We would like to thank all members who attended to, or sent their apologies for our SGM hosted on 12/03/2020.
Please find feedback from this meeting below:
It is with excitement that we inform you that following the Special General Meeting (SGM) of Genetic Alliance South Africa (GA-SA) convened yesterday, plans are now underway to integrate GA-SA with Rare Diseases South Africa (RDSA). Despite the challenges of loadshedding, the SGM was held electronically via Zoom and once quorum was established, we discussed this option and the potential process with members present before calling for a vote.
As a background for members unable to attend and for GA-SA non-members, the NPO funding climate is becoming increasingly challenging, resulting in the closure of many NPOs and identifying resources for GA-SA is particularly difficult due to the nature of the work. GA-SA has been working closely with RDSA over the past few years due to the common issues being tackled, via complementary strategies, areas of expertise and a close working relationship with RDSA generously hosting GA-SA in their offices. However, significant areas of overlap and duplication of effort were still occurring, leading to informal discussions of a merge, and how this could potentially work. This was tabled as an agenda item at the GA-SA Governing Board in December 2019 and again in February 2020, when the Board recommended that GA-SA be dissolved as an independent NPO and integrated as a part of RDSA. A Resolution was sent out to GA-SA members with notice of the SGM a few days later.
While GA-SA ceases to exist as an independent NPO following the unanimous vote at the SGM yesterday in favour of this Resolution, the legacy of GA-SA and our predecessor SAIDA will continue under the auspices of RDSA. The mandate of RDSA will be widened to accommodate all congenital disorders (CDs) and our current membership base – including support groups (full and affiliate), individual members (HCP, academics & researchers), lifetime and honorary members – are invited to remain a part of our community under the ‘Patient Voices’ programme within RDSA. We believe that by joining forces with RDSA this further strengthens us in unity as a CD and rare disease community, providing greater leverage in our advocacy, support, education and research efforts. RDSA membership will offer additional benefits and we will be communicating further details on your continued membership soon.
Having worked closely with RDSA for an extended period we are excited for the new season ahead. We remain steadfast in working towards a South Africa where those affected by CDs and rare diseases can readily access care and support. We encourage you to remain united with us, since in the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
Please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy of the minutes or PDF or the Powerpoint presentation.
We thank you all for your support & love, & are looking forward to our growth alongside RDSA.