Motsepe’s pledge a reality

2013-05-03 00:00

BILLIONAIRE and philanthropist Patrice Motsepe and his wife Precious were in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to make good on his pledge to give money to good causes.

He told a packed city hall that the Motsepe Foundation will be teaming up with local municipalities to form the uMgungungdlovu Development Forum. This organisation will be given R10 million to spend over the next year.

He announced the formation of the eThekwini Development Forum in Durban, which will also receive R10 million from the foundation.

Motsepe urged the municipalities to get local businesses involved in the forum. He said they should consider projects that enhanced education and skills to grow the local economy. Motsepe said the foundation will be fully involved in the development forums.

“We will be there to share our thoughts, but discussions on how the money will be spent will be taken locally,” he added.

In January, Motsepe, one of the richest men in Africa, announced that he was going to join the Giving Pledge movement started by United States billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. He said that he would be giving away R500 million in funding over the next three to five years.

Motsepe described the foundation’s thinking on how it would distribute funds in the first year.

“In South Africa we identified four provinces that have the highest population in the country and five lesser populated provinces.”

The four larger provinces (KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape) will get R20 million each. The others (Free State, North West Province, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and Northern Cape) will be getting R12 million each.

He added that rural areas would not be left out and would benefit from programmes being run by the Motsepe Foundation, which was started in 1999.

Many of the people who were at the city hall meeting had heard about it through announcements on Ukhozi FM. Representatives of local non-governmental and community organisations, who’ve experienced funding cuts from overseas donors, were there hoping to hear some good news. They plan to look at how they can be represented on the uMgungundlovu Development Forum.

Msunduzi mayor Chris Ndlela mentioned that Motsepe was the owner of football club Mamelodi Sundowns.

Spotting Maritzburg United owner Farouk Kadodia in the audience, Motsepe made a special mention of the local club. “You are doing very good work,” he told Kadodia

The R500 million pledge has been broken down to R100 million each for education; women business development; youth business development; Motsepe Foundation partnerships on projects with the religious community, workers’ organisations and traditional leadership; and for the development of sports, arts and culture.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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