Motsepes join billionaire pledge

Jan 31 2013 16:34

Patrice Motsepe. (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - Mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe ascribes his giving nature to the spirit of ubuntu, following his family's pledge to donate half of their wealth to charity.

Motsepe attributed his spirit of giving to his family and the concept of ubuntu, which is based on sharing and people, reported The Star.

“Giving is a fundamental and integral part of who and what we are,” Motsepe was quoted.

“I was exposed to the spirit of ubuntu at a very young age. I remember as a seven-year-old working in my father’s grocery store, seeing poor members of our community receiving free groceries from my mother,” he said.

“My parents also regularly paid for the school and university fees of the less fortunate children from our communities. My parents taught me about business entrepreneurship and the duty of giving and caring for the poor and marginalised.”

Now, 44 years later, Motsepe has made his mark for opening his wallet to uplift the less fortunate. However, it is more than just giving for the Motsepes.

“We also have an ongoing obligation of nation-building, uniting black and white South Africans, and contributing towards making South Africa and Africa and the world a better place.”

On Wednesday, the Motsepes announced that they would donate half of their billions to the Motsepe Foundation. The funds will broadly focus on education, health and rural schemes and will benefit South Africans, Africans and others around the world.

The Motsepe Foundation was established in 1999 to oversee philanthropic initiatives and it has funded various organisational groups.

"Your problems and your sufferings are not yours alone... We have to be guided by the needs of our country," Motsepe said at the announcement.

Motsepe said his family had decided to join the Giving Pledge, which was initiated by billionaire investor Warren Buffett and created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.

The pledge encourages wealthy families across the world to give at least half of their wealth to charity and the Motsepes are the first Africans to join the club.

Motsepe said he was going to sit his children down and get them to promise to continue with what he started and share with charity half of whatever money is made from the family businesses.

The Motsepes also want black and white youth to put the pep back into giving.

"We want young South Africans, black and white, to get excited and want it to become cool to give."

The 51-year-old Motsepe is the richest black South African and the eighth richest in Africa. The Sunday Times’ annual Rich List estimated him to be worth R20.07bn, while Forbes magazine valued his fortune at $2.65bn (€1.96bn).

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.


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