Dainfern College provides a South African education to young South Africans to enable them to live a full and rewarding life in South Africa.
To be able to do this, our College has to get two things right. Firstly, the College has to be run efficiently and professionally so that pupils receive a high quality, value-for-money education to equip them to live and thrive in South Africa. Secondly, the College must be regarded as a valuable institution in the broader society. Therefore, the College must be commercially sustainable: parents must willingly pay for an exceptionally good education. Our country desperately needs our College graduates to take up leadership roles in government, business, the labour movement and broader society. The College must thus also be socially sustainable: that is, those not connected to our College must value our contribution to society. In short, we have to build the College’s licence to operate.
The ‘granting’ of a licence to operate is not gifted by a single, unified entity. A myriad different, often antagonistic, interests within our broader neighbourhood coalesce to create an overlap of sentiments to either reject or trust our College. The licence to operate has to be understood in relation to:
- The College’s legitimacy in the eyes of our broader society;
- The trust stakeholders have in the College (legitmacy does not always correlate with trust); as well as
- The consent (tolerance, support) granted the College’s activities by stakeholders.
Our College cannot directly manage or award itself a licence to operate, It comes about through delivering positive outcomes for all stakeholders, addressing imbalances of power and ensuring equity. We will not have a licence to operate if we concentrate our efforts only to benefit our close College community and ignore the wider society of Dieplsoot, Dainfern and Fourways, of which we are a part. Our immediate neighbourhood has vast disparities of education, life opportunity and social integration. If we are to be relevant and trusted, if we are to be credible, if we are to be regarded as fellow South Africans, we must work to diminish these differences. We have to approach the cultivation of a licence to operate through hard work at being a goopd citizen.
This is where the Dainfern College Foundation comes in. The work of the Foundation articulates within three broad domains. Its activities are carefully devised to honestly and collaboratively enhance the College’s credibility with stakeholders. These domains are as follows:
- Community – ensuring that our wider community regards our College as a trusted and committed part of therir world view. We cannot allow our College to be regarded as foreign, remote, uncaring or elitist. We have to demonstrate that we are a good citizen. Our current outreach activities are examples of these actions.
- Campus – ensuring that the fabric of the campus is maintained so that the College infrastructure can support its educational mandate without sole reliance on school fees. Fundraising for capital projects is an example.
- Continuity – ensuring that there is a replenishing of the supply of ‘best of breed’ leaders and teachers to lead the College at every level and continue our reputation for excellence. Internships and teacher in-service bursaries for further study are examples.
Together these actions coalesce to build and protect our licence to operate. We must carefully devise our strategies and execute our plans with maximum impact and continued sustainability The programmes of the Foundation have been devised with the oversight of the trustees in conjunction with College management and they are being implemented in a defensible, phased manner. We cannot solve all the challenges of our society. Nevertheless, we can work together to do good for our College and do good for our neighbourhood. And together we will play our small part in building a South Africa where all feel accepted and at home. A South Africa where all of us will live a full and rewarding life.
Chairman: Dainfern College Foundation
Dainfern College, Broadacres Drive, Dainfern
PO Box 3199, Dainfern, 2055
Tel: +27 (0)11 469 0635;