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WHC was formed in March 1998 to harness and stimulate the commercial potential within Faculty, and in particular to capitalise on clinical research. The flexible manner in which WHC is structured encourages academics to operate their entities along entrepreneurial lines with strong investigator ownership. WHC balances reducing unnecessary bureaucratic control whilst still ensuring that activities are conducted in a formalised, controlled and well managed environment. WHC has also been the fertile breeding ground for many initiatives, the most notable being the formation of the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre which was incubated within WHC and eventually established in its own entity. As mentioned, WHC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), established under its Faculty of Health Sciences. Whilst WHC is a private company, it has been granted exemption from income taxation under Section 10(1)(cA)(ii) of the South African income taxation Act, this as its activities are ancillary and complimentary to those of its sole shareholder the University, which is also an income tax exempt entity. WHC is a not-for-profit organisation as all surpluses are reinvested in either WHC’s or the University’s operational and academic infrastructures. As WHC is expected to be self sufficient it ensures that syndicates do not incur losses and is managed to generate surplus for the CORE operation which is either used to improve services, or paid to Faculty to invest in the academic infrastructure within which WHC operates. Faculty members wishing to conduct activities within WHC form themselves into a “syndicate”, or research site, which is operated as a division within WHC – whilst still falling under the academic control of an appropriate Faculty department. The syndicates are managed as independent divisions within WHC, each with their own management structures determined by the syndicate directors.

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