Motsepe family pledges R1 billion to the fight against coronavirus

The Motsepe family has pledged R1 billion towards the fight against coronavirus, in partnership with companies and organisations they are associated with, the family said on Saturday.

The donation was announced in a briefing via Zoom.

Several hundred million rands would immediately be made available, billionaire Patrice Motsepe said. 

The companies involved are the Motsepe Foundation, African Rainbow Capital, African Rainbow Minerals and Sanlam.  

In a prepared statement, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe said the family had been in contact with government, health workers and other stakeholders to identify specific projects and needs with the "primary objective of saving lives" and slowing the spread of the virus. This would include the purchase of sanitisers and the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs). 

Access to water is also crucial, she noted, so a portion of the donation would go towards the purchase of water tanks and borehole drilling, as well as building sanitary facilities. 

Classrooms, computer centres and laboratories would also be built in all nine provinces. 

The donors will also be working with traditional leaders, kings, queens and their communities; the 34 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; sport organisations and entities; local, provincial and national business and professional organisations; farmers and their representative organisations; and other organisations or structures that can assist in dealing with the pandemic.  

Saying the outbreak was a "grave" challenge and there was "very serious and important work" to be done, Motsepe said he was nonetheless confident that South Africa would overcome the difficult time ahead. 

Calling on the business community to assist in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk said: " 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."

UPDATE: The Black Management Forum (BMF) said on Sunday it commends the Motsepe Foundation and its associated companies for the pledge.

"The BMF welcomes the pledge by the Motsepe Foundation and its associated companies. The Motsepe family is well known for its generosity, deep commitment to a just society, and upliftment of the poor and marginalized. The pledge, therefore, comes as no surprise to us," said BMF President, Andile Nomlala.

"We are equally pleased by the leadership displayed by various companies and individuals at this important juncture in our country whereby the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused vast disruption to our ways of living and cost our economy billions of rands. Our appreciation goes to the Rupert and Oppenheimer families as well."

This story was updated at 12:48 on Saturday 28 March to reflect the companies involved, as well as additional information regarding the donation.

** Additional reporting by Carin Smith


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