The South African Medical Association (“SAMA”) was established in 1927 and became known as it is today through the unification of a variety of doctors’ groups on 21 May 1998 that had represented a diversity of interests.
SAMA is a non-statutory professional association for public and private sector medical practitioners. SAMA is registered as a non-profit company in terms of the Companies Act. SAMA is a voluntary membership association, existing to serve its members’ best interests and needs in all healthcare-related matters.
The history of SAMA as an association goes back to the 19th century, when doctors practicing in Cape Town, Grahamstown, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, and Kimberley formed their own medical associations as branches of the British Medical Association. In 1927 these branches came together and constituted the Medical Association of South Africa (MASA), as it was then known.
The next significant development in SAMA’s history was the unification of the pre-democracy medical groups in the formal reconstitution of the South African Medical Association as we know it today, on 21 May 1998 – with its new name registered, under the same 1927 registration number, known as a Section 21 (non-profit) association in terms of the 1973 Companies Act.
SAMA’s member organisational structures are located at regional branches in the various provinces. Every member of SAMA is assigned to a Regional Branch, where fellowship, networking, and knowledge sharing among local SAMA members is encouraged. Each branch elected Branch Office bearers and Councillors, by the members of that branch, who serve and represent the branch within the larger structures of SAMA. SAMA values the participation of its members within its structures and encourages members to participate in electing their branch council members.
The role of the committees is to enhance the capability of SAMA to deliver value to its membership by taking charge of its specific portfolio, which would otherwise be impossible to manage, given the volume of work required and the limited capacity of the Board to carry this load. These committees act in accordance with the delegated authority of the Board and provide recommendations to the Board in line with their responsibilities and objectives. SAMA values the participation of its members within its structures and encourages members to participate in electing their committee members.
This internal operational team is led by the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Committee (Exco) is mandated to develop strategies, execution plans, develop policy proposals for consideration by the Board of Directors, implement the Board’s directives and manage the daily operations of the Association.