Report from the Chairman of the Federal Council

Posted in KUSA News

In the course of 2018, it became clear that Pascale Midgley was shouldering an intolerable burden and that steps needed to be taken to strengthen the administrative structure of KUSA. In consequence, I have pleasure in welcoming two new members of staff - Kyle Farmer, who joined the team as Office Manager and Lauren Solomon, who was appointed as Assistant to the General Manager. We have already seen improvements in our IT systems and I anticipate further growth and innovation in the coming year. This should also be reflected in the upgrade of our website to improve accessibility and navigation.

Last year my report dealt substantially with the reunification of Boxers under the banner of KUSA. This task has been successfully completed and a structure put in place to guard and promote the interests of Boxers and ensure their prosperity. The merger of KUSA and the Federation of Boxer Clubs of Southern Africa (FBCSA) automatically brought all Boxers in South Africa under the international umbrella of the FCI, enabling their pedigrees to proudly display the FCI logo. It is significant to note that the merger was achieved with the minimum disruption of the management of Boxers. The KUSA negotiating team and the representatives of the FBCSA worked tirelessly towards creating an environment in which Boxers could thrive and I commend all concerned on their extraordinary efforts to reunify the breed after a period of almost sixty years.

In my previous report, I also drew attention to the need for good governance within all tiers of the greater KUSA structure. That would require a more disciplined approach by all KUSA members, affiliated clubs and officials when dealing with all matters germane to our organisation. It further requires total adherence to the Rules and Regulations of KUSA and its Constitution as set out in the Articles and Schedules thereto.

It is important that affiliated clubs and elected club committees keep tight controls over club finances and that they maintain proper and detailed records of decisions and approvals discussed and made at all club meetings. Although club work is undertaken on a voluntary basis, it is nevertheless expected that financial and other responsibilities are discharged with the utmost care and diligence. Failure to do so will invariably create a ripple effect with detrimental results the inevitable outcome. The Federal Council and the Executive Committee of KUSA will, in future, be obliged to apply the rules of good governance more rigorously to its affiliated clubs, their officials and members. Clubs need to strictly adhere their constitutions, especially in matters of due diligence matters and in the discharge of their fiduciary responsibilities.

A further element of my report last year was the action taken by the GSDFSA in applying for relief in terms of section 23 of the Animal Improvement Act, claiming misconduct on the part of the Registrar: Animal Improvement. The anticipated outcome was the withdrawal of KUSA’s appointment, by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries (DAFF), as a canine Breeders’ Society and Registering Authority for 218 canine breeds. The Appeal Committee was duly constituted and the hearing took place in September 2018. On the invitation of the Chairman of the Appeal Board, KUSA was represented at the hearing by Adv Nick de Jager. The findings of the Appeal Committee, released on 15 November 2018, contained the welcome news that the Appeal by the GSDFSA had been dismissed.

The recently constituted Judges Education Council (JEC) reported a high level of activity in its first year of operation. The Council will be introducing far-reaching changes to the KUSA Breed Judge’ Learning Programme in 2019 and I wish the Council members every success with the implementation of the contemplated innovations in its ongoing efforts to nurture, guide and educate our judges.

The Eastern Cape experienced experience some changes in 2018. Last year we bade farewell to Clr Joan Barrow after 20 years of service and, in her place, welcomed Clr Lynn Scholtz. Clr Scholtz made an extremely useful contribution to the work of Fedco and it is with a tinge of sadness that we learnt that a chance in her personal circumstances forced her to tender her resignation. We join our members in the Eastern Cape in welcoming Clr Barrow back onto Fedco an thank her for her willingness to take her place at the table for the balance of Clr Scholtz’s term.

The financial report for the current year shows a good turnaround from a deficit of R228,958 in 2017 to a gratifying profit of R605,451 in 2018. Revenue from Show Entries remained stable at R632,329, compared to R632,757 in the previous year. Show Licences and Penalties accounted for R257,029 – an acceptable improvement. Registrations increased by R286,866 and Membership by R244,227. These improvements in Revenue were augmented by an overall reduction is Expenses of R349,497.

These favourable results stem from the combined efforts of Pascale Midgley and her team, Clr Lois Wilson and Exco, and my colleagues on Fedco. They are all to be congratulated. We are living in changing times and I am proud of KUSA’s achievement in adapting to the challenges we face on a daily basis. With our new staff members on board, I feel confident as we move into the future with our canine companions.

Looking to the future, we need to take stock of KUSA’s resources. On the positive side, we have a structure that supports a countrywide network of clubs devoted to the training and showing of dogs. A weakness is our lack of facilities for training and showing. Funding is problematic, but serious efforts should be made towards the acquisition of suitable grounds for ownership by clubs, or KUSA.

Our rules and regulations are set out in KUSA Constitution and our office in Cape Town takes care of KUSA’s general administration and its registries. Through its membership of the FCI, breeds registered on the KUSA registries enjoy worldwide recognition. Maintaining such registries requires significant investment and I urge all breeders committed to excellence in kennel management and record-keeping to support KUSA and not to turn to cheaper forms of registration.

Although the majority of our dog shows follow the classification of breeds and system of awards devised by The Kennel Club in the UK, it ought to be acknowledged that, as a full member of the FCI, there is an increasing imperative to expose our exhibitors to shows run under the FCI classification where FCI awards may be earned. For the moment, KUSA is fortunate to be able to avail itself of the benefits of both systems and their respective awards. Whether this privileged position of noncommittal is sustainable in the long term might require investigation and debate.

My wife, Gill, and I, wish the members of the Federal Council and the Executive Committee, the members of the KUSA staff and the membership of our organisation a joyous Festive Season and all the best for a prosperous and bountiful 2019.

CJL Griffith

Chairman of the Federal Council of KUSA

December 2018