Johannesburg - Mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe announced on Monday he would give half his family's fortune to a charity, matching a pledge made by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Motsepe and his family are giving half the funds generated from assets owned by the family to the Motsepe Foundation.
The funds will be used to uplift those less well off‚ the family said in a statement.
The size of the donation was not immediately known.
"I decided quite some time ago to give at least half the funds generated by our family assets to uplift poor and other disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans but was also duty bound and committed to ensuring that it would be done in a way that protects the interests and retains the confidence of our shareholders and investors‚" Motsepe said in a statement.
"This is to be used during his lifetime and beyond... to improve the lifestyles, and living conditions, of poor, disabled, unemployed, women, youth, workers and marginalised South Africans," his wife Precious Motsepe said.
Motsepe founded African Rainbow Minerals [JSE:ARM]‚ which he chairs. He is also chairperson of Harmony Gold Mining Company [JSE:HAR]‚ in which ARM is a shareholder.
The mining tycoon becomes the first African to join the Giving Pledge, which challenges the world's wealthiest to give 50% or more of their fortune to charity.
Since Microsoft mogul Gates and investment guru Buffett launched the Pledge in 2010, more than 70 billionaires have joined.
Motsepe is Africa's eighth richest person with a fortune of $2.65bn (€1.96bn), according to Forbes magazine.
His announcement, two days after his 51st birthday, makes him part of an illustrious club that includes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings, and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.
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