Billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe’s foundation and other partners on Saturday afternoon pledged R1 billion to South Africa to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa applauded the commitment made in “this time of crisis by the Rupert and Oppenheimer families of R1 billion each to assist small businesses and their employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic”.
Watch the virtual media conference live below:
Read the Motsepe foundation and Sanlam’s full pledge below:
The Motsepe Family in partnership with companies and organisations that they are associated with [including numerous companies owned by Motsepe], have pledged R1 billion to assist with the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its related challenges that are confronting South Africa and the African Continent.
These companies and organisations are:
- Motsepe Foundation
- African Rainbow Capital (ARC)
- African Rainbow Minerals (ARM)
- and others
The Founder and Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation, Dr Patrice Motsepe said:
“Several hundred million rands will immediately be made available with the primary objective of saving lives and slowing and restraining the spread of the Coronavirus. We are purchasing sanitisers, disinfectants, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are in discussions with Government, health workers and other stakeholders to assist with acquiring other equipment and making resources available which are essential for dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been advised that access to water for regularly washing hands is crucial for slowing and limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.
“We are therefore providing water to poor rural and urban communities by purchasing water tanks (jojos), drilling and equipping for borehole water and also building sanitary facilities. The current lockdown has an impact on the goods, equipment and services that can be purchased immediately and the goods and services which can be provided when the lockdown has been terminated. Our short to medium term interventions include building additional classrooms, computer centers and laboratories in all the 9 provinces of South Africa to assist with the excessively high number of students per classroom in some schools; particularly in the context of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing requirements.
“Those schools in the poor rural and urban areas which do not have internet access or facilities will be assisted with study guides, scientific calculators, dictionaries and other educational equipment and facilities identified in consultation with the Department of Basic Education, school principals and teachers. Poor and underdeveloped communities are ill-prepared to deal with the serious challenges and consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic and are in dire need of our assistance and contributions. We are committed to contribute to the provision of quality education, infrastructure and other facilities to better prepare and equip them to deal with future pandemics or catastrophes.”
We will be working in partnership with:
- traditional leaders, kings, queens and their communities that we have been working with for the past 20 years;
- the 34 Religious and Faith-Based organisations that participate in the annual Motsepe Foundation National Day of Prayer;
- National, Provincial and Local Government authorities;
- Trade Union and other Worker Representative organisations;
- NGOs and other local community representative organisations;
- sport organisations and entities;
- local, provincial and national business and professional organisations;
- black and white farmers and their representative organisations; and
- other organisations or structures that can assist or partner with us in dealing with the current Coronavirus pandemic.
The CEO of Sanlam Ian Kirk said:
“Sanlam has a rich history of always putting our people, our clients and our country first; hence our mantra of ‘Doing well, by doing Good’. Today, we’re proud of the partnership with the Motsepe Family and its associated companies. We believe these efforts will make a meaningful contribution not only towards fighting the Coronavirus, but also in developing the long-term sustainability of South Africans, particularly in poor and rural areas. Periods of profound uncertainty like these call for us to come together to support all the prudent actions that contain the scourge of this virus and its impact on our already fragile economy.”
The CEO of ARC Dr Johan van Zyl said:
“As a nation we are in unchartered waters in terms of the scale and danger that the COVID- 19 pandemic presents to South Africans. It is now time for each and everyone of us to demonstrate leadership and help. ARC is a fairly young company with limited financial resources. Yet, it remains important that we make a contribution. In this regard we are partnering with companies and organisations with which we have common interests and share common values to ensure that the positive impact we aim to make is felt.”
We have been in contact with various Ministers and MECs and will also be in contact with the Government’s Coronavirus Solidarity Fund to identify specific initiatives and projects where we can partner and work together. There may be upliftment and developmental undertakings where they are better positioned than we are, in which case we may fund or donate with them on a particular project or partnership.
We want to thank Government for their leadership and cooperation including health workers, police, soldiers, as well as Religious and Faith-Based organisations, traditional leaders, trade union and other worker representative organisations, NGOs and other rural and urban organisations. We also want to thank business and in particular the Rupert and Oppenheimer families, the employees, boards and stakeholders of the companies that the Motsepe Family is associated with, for their assistance and contributions in dealing with the current Coronavirus pandemic.
South Africans have a history of uniting and working together when confronted with major and enormous challenges. We are confident that South Africa will in the medium to long term overcome the life-threatening and economic challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and continue to build a bright and inclusive future for the people of South Africa and the African continent.