South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, has pledged to donate half of his fortune, following in the steps of the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
Motsepe, the first black billionaire, announced that he will give away half of his fortune to improve the lives of the poor and marginalised. He is the first African to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's Giving Pledge, which encourages billionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes of their choice.
Motsepe said he drew inspiration from the African humanist philosophy of "Ubuntu," which translates to "I am because you are."
"South Africans are caring, compassionate and loving people," Motsepe said. "It has always been part of our culture and tradition to assist and care for less fortunate and marginalised members of our communities. This culture is also embodied in the spirit and tradition of ubuntu/botho."
Inyathelo, the South African Institute for Advancement, welcomed Motsepe’s announcement, calling the mining magnate’s move “significant”.
Inyathelo’s Programme Director Gabrielle Ritchie said South Africa desperately needs more of this kind of strategic philanthropic investment that fundamentally addresses the deep-rooted social inequalities in our society.
“Despite being Africa’s richest nation, no South African made it onto last year’s Forbes ‘Biggest Givers List’. More than half of the continent’s dollar millionaires live in South Africa and yet we remain the most unequal society in the world according to the latest measure of the Gini coefficient which now includes China. More wealthy South Africans need to follow Motsepe’s example and give back in strategic ways that contribute to our social development,” says Ritchie.
The Giving Pledge was launched two years ago by American billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and challenges the world’s wealthiest to give 50 percent or more of their fortune to charity.
Motsepe has a net worth of $2.65 billion, Forbes estimates.