Gates, Buffett, can you hear me? Patrice Motsepe gives away half of family fortune

African Rainbow Minerals chairman Patrice Motsepe announced on Wednesday that his family would give away half its fortune to charity, as a part of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s The Giving Pledge. He becomes the first African to do so. How many will follow? By SIPHO HLONGWANE. from Daily Maverick

Patrice Motsepe at Davos


When ARM chairman Patrice Motsepe announced that he would be making an important announcement, the speculation was that he would be buying himself some newspapers. He was in Davos, and at the same time, Independent News and Media’s biggest shareholder Denis O’Brien met with President Jacob Zuma. The Irish group owns several papers, including The Star, Cape Times and Pretoria News, and has been seeking to unbundle its South African assets.

As it turns out, Motsepe’s announcement was of a different sort. The beneficiary will be the Motsepe Foundation, which was founded in 1999 by the ARM chairman and his wife Precious. It oversees the philanthropic work done by the family, which includes education and health; the development and upliftment of women, youth, workers and the disabled; churches; the development of entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs; rural and urban upliftment; soccer including youth soccer development and music.

“I decided quite some time ago to give at least half of the funds generated by our family assets to uplift poor and other disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans, but was also duty-bound and committed to ensuring that it would be done in a way that protects the interests and retains the confidence of our shareholders and investors,” Motsepe said.

The give-away is a part of the Giving Pledge, which encourages wealthy people to donate their fortune to charity. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett (formerly the world’s wealthiest man) founded the campaign in 2010 and have both committed large chunks of their sizable wealth to charitable organisations around the world. As of November 2012, 91 billionaires – mostly Americans – have committed to the pledge.

Motsepe said, “I was also a beneficiary of various people, black and white, in South Africa and in the US who educated, trained, mentored and inspired me and whose faith and belief in me contributed to my success in my profession, business and elsewhere. The same can be said about my wife, Precious, and we are deeply indebted to them and many more.

“Most of our donations have been private, but the need and challenges are great, and we hope that our Giving Pledge will encourage others in South Africa, Africa and other emerging economies to give and make the world a better place.”

Motsepe met with Buffett in the USA in August 2012, and with the Gates family in Cape Town later last year. The foundation will appoint an advisory council which will consist of “church and religious leaders, traditional, disabled, women, youth and labour leaders and other respected NGO and community upliftment leaders”.

According to Forbes, Motsepe’s net worth stood at $2.65 billion (R23.94 billion) in November 2012. ARM, the company he founded and chairs had a market capof R43.47 billion at the time of the give-away announcement.  It isn’t clear when the donation will happen, but it is understood that it will happen in perpetuity.

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Microsoft & Ford – justification for us preferring Mac’s

A friend sent me this  – I haven’t verified  the origin of the quotes – but anyway it is very funny – in some strange way it is reminiscent of how cities are built ( i.e. not designed) – i.e. by trial and error with the mostly involuntary  cooperation of the users whether they like it or not- sometimes they slightly  revolt (e.g. Soviet Union, South Africa, North Africa) but then they forget and  on the whole like most  Windows users they merely grin and bear it!

Priceless Information!!!!

computers have enhanced our  lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly  compared the

computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

‘If  Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we

would all be  driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.’

In response to  Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:

If Ford had  developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving

cars with the  following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason  whatsoever, your car would crash………Twice a day.

2. Every time they  repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy

a new car.

3.  Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would

have to  pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off

the car,  restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For

some reason  you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre  such as a left turn would cause

your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in  which case you would have to

reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would  make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable,

five times as fast and  twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five

percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all  be

replaced by a single ‘This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation’ warning


I love the next one!!!

7. The airbag system would ask  ‘Are you sure?’ before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason  whatsoever, your car would lock you out and

refuse to let you in until you  simultaneously lifted the door handle,

turned the key and grabbed hold of the  radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would  have to learn how

to drive all over again because none of the controls would  operate in the

same manner as the old car.

10. You’d have to press the  ‘Start’ button to turn the engine off.

PS – I’d like to add that when  all else fails, you could call ‘customer

service’ in some foreign country and be  instructed in some foreign language

how to fix your car  yourself!!!!