In order to promote the best interests of the greater community, interaction between residents is of critical importance. With this in mind the Dainfern Community Association was formed. The association consists of residents and non-residents of Dainfern in Johannesberg, South Africa, who have banded together to develop improvement initiatives to the benefit of the entire community.
According to David Weyers, CEO of the Dainfern Golf and Country Estate, the Dainfern Community Association (DCA) is now comprised of some 14 independent entities that include the local shopping centres, office parks, Dainfern College and the residential estates themselves. The DCA is also in the process of pitching the concept to additional areas, including Cedar Road, Broadacres and Fourways.
The DCA is also closely involved with a voluntary organisation known as Future City Fourways. The Future City Fourways initiative is grounded on South Africa’s City Improvement District (CID) Gauteng Provincial Ordinance No. 12 of 1997, which provides successful applicants with the legislated powers to provide supplementary and complementary services above those supplied by government. With a unique and sustainable funding model in place, this business model brings together best practices, innovative approaches, high-tech solutions and has equipped professionals to address the long-standing problems around urban decay and traffic and bylaw enforcement in Fourways.
Weyers goes on to explain that the initiatives spearheaded by the DCA and Future City are also funded by private companies and individuals who want to donate to the cause. Some of the most notable improvement projects include maintenance, cleaning up litter, taking down old street signs, fixing broken streetlights and getting the traffic department to come and repair broken traffic lights.
The manpower for the projects is provided by a group of young entrepreneurs, while the uniforms, equipment and maintenance are paid for by the DCA. “While it’s not actually our responsibility but that of the local municipality, we have decided to take matters into our own hands and clean up our own community to provide a better quality of life for all residents,” says Weyers.
“There’s not much point in sitting back and complaining, because nothing will change. Government simply does not have the time, finances or resources and we just need to accept that and get our hands dirty,” says Weyers. “We also get a great deal of support from the local municipalities because it frees up resources that they can use on other projects.”
Weyers adds that the typical types of homeowners in the Dainfern area include high-powered career professionals as well as international companies that rent residential estates specifically for their expats working on contract in South Africa. The safety and security of not just the residential estate but the entire community, including shopping centres, gyms. “It’s taken on a broader, holistic approach so that every resident in the community experiences a safe and secure lifestyle wherever they go,” he added.
Weyers says that the community efforts have had a significant impact on the value of property in the area, with Dainfern Valley topping the list of estates with the highest rentals in South Africa. “The high quality of lifestyle combined with safety and security has meant that homeowners can demand high value in terms of rent for tenants. In addition, about 50% of the owners are corporate tenants,” he says.