Why do we have a Development Fund Levy? As with many schools the lion’s share of the income we receive is school fee in-come. A budget is produced and this income is allocated to a multitude of expenses. Many of these expenses deal with the day-to-day running of the school – salaries, electricity, water, paper, internet access to name but a few. Sometimes the growth and development of the school is restricted by the fact that the day-to-day running of the school absorbs so much of our income. To this end the school introduced a Development Fund levy many years ago that was jealously protected from being absorbed into the day-to-day running costs and allocated to specific development projects over the years.
Many years ago, long before I became principal, the SGB of the time made a decision that they were going to limit on-going large scale fundraising projects and events as these events often put additional financial burden on parents who are already stretched financially. It was then decided to introduce a Development Fund levy of R500 per annum which effectively amounted to R50 per month for 10 months per family. This Development Fund levy was voluntary (VDF). Over the years this VDF levy has financed many projects that directly benefitted the pupils of the school. Resurfacing of tennis courts, additional cricket nets, the purchase of comput-ers for the computer room, the development of the school library and many other projects have been provided by the VDF.
Sadly though fewer parents are choosing to pay the VDF levy nowadays and this, I do realise, is a sign of the difficult times the school community finds itself in. Putting this into perspective though, we have about 850 families in the school, yet only 100 families contribute the VDF levy of R500 which brings in around R50 000 per annum. If we could get half the families of the school choosing to pay the VDF levy we would bring in just over R200 000 per annum for specific projects. For example we have a Consumer Studies kitchen that could do with some refurbishing and this would be an ideal project for the VDF.
The VDF hasn’t been increased from its original R500 per annum which, in those days, was quite a high levy. In this day and age, R500 once off or at R50 per month for 10 months is doable for most families. I would like to encourage you to really make every effort to make this voluntary payment. Even our families who receive part or full exemption from paying fees could contribute to the fund. If you didn’t know about our VDF, or had forgotten about it, please consider making this donation to the school. Besides the obvious benefit to your children, the contribution is also tax deductible and the school can issue you with a Section 18A certificate on request. To those families who already do contribute to the VDF, we thank you very much for keeping the school’s growth and development close to your heart. Stephen Price