If you have it, give it

2013-02-03 10:00

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Billionaire, and now philanthropist, Patrice Motsepe’s decision to donate half his wealth to charity could see him in competition with the National Lottery in the race to distribute the most funds for good causes.

Motsepe, the founder and executive chairperson of JSE-listed mining group African Rainbow Minerals (ARM), announced on Wednesday he and his family have taken up the challenge inspired by US billionaire, Warren Buffett, and Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, for wealthy individuals to spend most of their money on charitable investments.

Most of Motsepe’s wealth is locked up in his 41.26% stake in ARM, a diversified mining conglomerate with operations and investments in platinum, iron ore, manganese coal, copper and gold.

The company’s asset base also stretches beyond South Africa, with properties and partnerships in Zambia and the DRC.

ARM is valued at R44.4 billion, based on Friday’s share price of R205.80 per share, translating to R18.3 billion for Motsepe’s stake.

This could, however, be highly volatile as the company’s share price hit a low of around R144 last September.

The value of Motsepe’s other business interests is less easily quantifiable.

Forbes estimated his wealth at about R24 billion in November, making him the nation’s richest black man.

Motsepe didn’t want to be drawn on the exact formula he would use to determine the quantum of his donations, except for saying he would not sell any shares in ARM over the next few years.

“There is no intention in the short- to medium-term to go on a process of selling shares, because there is no need to do that,” he said.

Estimates for the amount Motsepe will distribute through his foundation range from R400 million to R1.2 billion a year.

The higher estimate would depend on Motsepe achieving 10% annual growth on his investments, paying out not only revenues but also a capital growth portion.

The more conservative estimate of R400 million would be the case if Motsepe only donates the likely dividend payments from his investments.

This figure would rise, however, as Motsepe’s wealth increases.

The National Lottery Board paid out R1.6 billion in the 12 months to March 2012, recent figures show.

Bill Gates (US)

Donations: $28 billion

Net worth: $66 billion

Early on Gates dabbled in different areas, giving money to Harvard’s computer science department, libraries, pilot high schools and local Seattle charities.

His giving really took off in 1999, when he funded his family foundation with $16 billion in Microsoft stock.

Since then, with further contributions from Gates and pal Warren Buffett, the foundation has become the pre-eminent philanthropic institution in the world.

Among its main initiatives, it will spend $10 billion on vaccines within the decade, taking on diseases from malaria to meningitis. In the US, education – teacher training, in particular – is its main project.

In April his wife, Melinda, launched an effort to make contraceptives accessible worldwide, pledging $1.1 billion to the undertaking.

Warren Buffett (US)

Donations: $17.25 billion

Net worth: $46 billion

For many years Buffett insisted he would give all his money away at his death, but not before.

He had a change of heart and in 2006 made a pledge to give more than $30 billion over 20 years to the Gates Foundation.

In 2012 he turned over $1.5 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stock.

Perhaps even more notably, he teamed up with Gates in 2010 to create the Giving Pledge, which has signed up 92 wealthy individuals and families to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

On his birthday in August, Buffett pledged $3 billion of stock to his three children’s foundations.

George Soros (US)

Donations: $8.5 billion

Net worth: $19 billion

An eclectic giver, Soros has doled out $8.5 billion since 1979, backing causes as diverse as clean-needle clinics in California and scientific research in Russia,

to helping the Roma, or Gypsies, in

Eastern Europe.

Of the $8.5 billion the hedge fund legend has given away, approximately $6 billion has been dispersed internationally and an estimated $400 million has been dedicated to combating poverty.

Recent initiatives include $150 million for promoting transparency in governments around the globe and $100 million to overcome barriers faced by African-American boys and men.

Gordon Moore (US)

Donations: $5 billion

Net worth: $4.8 billion

The Intel co-founder and former CEO handed over approximately $5 billion in stock to the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2000.

The foundation focuses on science, environmental conservation and nursing education.

The last category was the brainchild of Moore’s wife, Betty, who once received the wrong injection from a nurse in the hospital.

Moore is also partially funding the construction of the world’s biggest telescope. It’s in Hawaii, where he lives part time.

Carlos Slim Helú (Mexico)

Donations: $4 billion

Net worth: $69 billion

The world’s richest man has publicly stated that he feels more good can be done from creating jobs than from band-aid charitable giving.

Yet it turns out he gave $2 billion, mostly from dividends, to his Carlos Slim Foundation in 2006 and another $2 billion in 2010.

Most of its programmes are focused on digital education and health.

A $100 million gift to the Clinton Initiative project is helping pay for 50 000 cataract surgeries in Peru.

With the Gates Foundation and the government of Spain, the Slim Foundation is spending $150 million on nutrition and disease prevention in Central America.

Eli Broad (US)

Donations: $3.5 billion

Net worth: $6.3 billion

Broad, who made two fortunes, first as a home builder and later in the insurance annuities industry, has been focused on philanthropy lately.

He has tried to reform public education by giving awards to individual educators.

In 2010 he got approval to build a new contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles, which is on track to open in 2014.

In 2007, $26 million went to Broad’s alma mater, Michigan State University, to establish the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

In October Broad donated 19 artworks from his collection to the museum, including pieces by Roxy Paine, Peter Halley and Terry Winters. His foundation also helps fund medical research. It has given more than $500 million for a stem cell research institute at Harvard and MIT.

George Kaiser (US)

Donations: $3.3 billion

Net worth: $10 billion

‘It is the government’s responsibility to ensure at birth that every child has the same opportunity. But that is a hoax at this point,” says Kaiser. “With what we know, it is morally offensive not to act.”

Tulsa’s wealthiest man has acted by funding his George Kaiser Family Foundation with more than $3 billion.

It spends millions a year on medical clinics across Tulsa, helping women get off drugs, improving Tulsa’s public schools and developing early childhood education centres.

His National Energy Policy Institute probes ways to wean the US off foreign oil.

Michael Bloomberg (US)

Donations: $2.8 billion

Net worth: $25 billion

Bloomberg has apparently given to more than 850 charities.

He’s supported smoking cessation campaigns, tougher national gun-control laws and New York’s arts institutions.

Over the years, he’s also given $200 million to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, where he sits on the board. In 2011, he donated $330 million to such groups as the Sierra Club, the Alliance for the Arts and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Azim Premji (India)

Donations: $2.1 billion

Net worth: $15.9 billion

The head of tech titan Wipro started the Azim Premji Foundation in 2001 with an initial endowment of Wipro shares worth $125 million.

In 2010, keeping with his avowed intent of giving away a significant chunk of his fortune, he donated shares worth $2 billion to a trust that will go to the foundation to help public schools in India’s heartland by training teachers and improving curriculums.

His Azim Premji University, which trains teachers, opened in 2011.

James Stowers (US)

Donations: $2 billion

Net worth: $100 million

The unit trust tycoon has not been a member of the Forbes 400 since 2000, when he gave $1.2 billion to endow the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City.

Since then he and his wife, Virginia, have given millions more to the institute, which performs genetic research targeted at advancing the understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.


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