Why should franchisees join? Strengthening lobbying efforts on behalf of franchising and small business The Franchise Association of South Africa is the industry’s only officially recognised representative body. It is a non-profit organisation in existence since 1979 and a longstanding member of the World Franchise Council. The Association is a member of the Small Business Institute as well as Business Unity South Africa. It has a very important lobbying role and as such serves on various relevant committees at BUSA to represent and influence small business law writers within the structures of government. It is therefore of paramount importance for franchisees to add their voice to the Association in order to strengthen its influence over government to act in the interest of small business. Members are informed of the latest proposed amendments, new laws and regulations being planned by government through updates and requests for opinions on a regular basis. Access to leanerships Through structures within the ServicesSeta the Association has a seat on its business chamber and interacts regularly and directly with decision makers at the Seta regarding funding for learnerships – it has currently applied for 1500 learnerships over three years and it is envisioned that these learnerships are to be placed within the association’s franchisee membership who are interested, thus offering an opportunity to reduce labour costs and access to tax rebates. Discounts to attend industry events Franchisee members receive preferential rates to attend industry events. Franchisee of the Year Award Members are encouraged to enter the prestigious annual Franchisee of the Year competition. Entry is free and the PR and marketing exposure for finalists and the winner in this category amounts to millions of Rands in AVE (Source NewsClip). Speaking opportunities at franchise events Franchisee members are welcome to present at industry events like the annual franchise convention or franchise expo’s – taking part as a speaker is offered to members on a first come first served basis and is offered free of charge. Speaking opportunities provide credible marketing exposure to business owners and great networking opportunities to the attending delegates. Voting rights Franchisee members who have paid their membership fees and are in good standing are welcome to attend the association’s Annual General Meeting and have voting rights. Mediation services The Association offers free mediation services to franchisee members if their franchisor is also a member of the Association, in the event of a dispute or disagreement. Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution mechanism and is usually outsourced to an experienced franchise attorney, who is also a mediator. How to Join Complete the easy online application form. Membership fees for franchisees are R900 per annum. Once the application has been submitted As soon as the application form and membership fees have been received the applicant franchisee would receive a confirmation welcome email from the Association. The relevant email address/es supplied by the applicant franchisee would be included with immediate effect in the member database going forward to ensure regular communication.