A historic press event held in Johannesburg earlier this year, saw South Africa’s richest man Patrice Motsepe announce that he and his wife, Precious Malope, are committed to donating half of their family fortune to benefit the lives of others.

The Mining magnate is now the first person outside of the US to take the Giving Pledge, which was originally started by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Inc CEO Warren Buffett. It’s a pledge that encourages wealthy families worldwide to give at least half of their fortune to charity.

The Mining magnate is now the first person outside of the US to take the Giving Pledge, which was originally started by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Inc CEO Warren Buffett.

By joining the initiative, South Africa’s billionaire has become an instant philanthropic trailblazer for Africa. But for Motsepe, the Giving Pledge is an extension of that which comes naturally to him.

“It has always been part of our [African] culture and tradition to assist and care for less fortunate and marginalised members of our communities – a culture embodied in the spirit and tradition of ubuntu,” said Motsepe.

Motsepe and his wife recognised the huge responsibility and duty that the Motsepe family has to poor, unemployed, disabled, women, youth, workers and marginalised South Africans. “We also have an ongoing obligation of nation building, uniting black and white South Africans, and contributing towards making South Africa, Africa and the world a better place,” he said.

“We will continue to work with and encourage governments on the African continent to implement fiscal, legislative, anti-corruption and other measures to ensure that their economies are globally competitive and attractive to private sector and other business investments,” Motsepe added.

“Economies that are growing and have ethical and accountable political, business and other leaders are better positioned and substantially more effective in dealing with poverty, joblessness, illiteracy and disease.”

Forbes Magazine estimated Patrice Motsepe (Founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals) to be worth about US2.65-billion (R24 billion). Most of their donations have up till now been private. “We hope that our Giving Pledge will encourage others in South Africa, Africa and other emerging economies to give.”

Other African Billionaires who are also Active Philanthropists:

·         Johann Rupert: 3rd richest African and CEO of Luxury goods group, Richemont, gave his                                                 R3.6 million annual salary to charity.

·         The Oppenheimers: 2nd richest family in Africa donated R1 billion to support education in South Africa.

·         Aliko Dangote: Nigeria’s richest man gave away $35 million to the Nigerian Flood Relief.

·         Jim Ovia: Nigerian banker and founder of Zenith Bank gave away an estimated $6.6 million to the Nigerian government for the rehabilitation of victims of the various flood disasters across Nigeria in 2012.

Strive Masiyiwa: Zimbabwe’s richest man gave away an estimated $6.4 million to sponsor 40 African undergraduates to Morehouse College, for a four-year period.