Prior to the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act coming into effect, the voting process at either annual or special general meetings was a show of hands by members or a ballot paper if it was requested, but now the process has become more structured and if trustees and members follow the necessary guidelines, decision taking and recording of such should not necessarily become a time-consuming event, says Michael Bauer, general manager of property management company IHFM.
Voting slips on all matters needing a ballot are now mandatory. Section 6 (6) of the STSMA states that votes are now calculated in value (according to owners’ participation quotas) and each member’s vote is calculated as the total PQ of the sections he owns, unless there is a rule made in terms of section 10 (2) of the STSMA that allows for a value other than the PQ being used. If votes are counted in number then each member has one vote, in terms of section 6 (7) of the STSMA.
Regulation 20 lists the procedures and requirements to validate the voting process, and any motion put forward at a meeting does not have to be seconded by another member any longer.
According to regulation 20 (2) (a) and (b), if members are not up to date with their levy payments or if they are in breach of the conduct rules of the body corporate, they cannot vote on ordinary resolutions. This does not apply to special or unanimous resolutions, however.
“The outcome of each vote must be announced before the meeting is adjourned and recorded in the minutes of that particular meeting, which highlights how important it is to be organised and have all the necessary pre-qualifying criteria met before holding the meeting”, said Bauer.
If a special resolution be passed at either an AGM or SGM with a vote of 75% in favour, calculated in number and PQ, where the quorum was less than 50% of the total PQ, then the body corporate must wait for one week before anything is done to implement the special resolution. This has been added to allow for a grace period, in case there are members who want to call a SGM to reconsider the special resolution.