The Motsepe family and companies have pledged R1 billion towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.

The family made the announcement with Sanlam chief executive officer Johan Van Zyl.

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

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe and his wife Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe made the announcement during a virtual media briefing on Saturday afternoon, as the country enters its second day of a 21-day lockdown.

South Africa has so far recorded 1,170 cases – that's more than any other country on the continent – and one death.

They said other donations will be in the form of hand sanitizer and other protective gear.

Moloi-Motsepe said the family is confident that South Africa will overcome the pandemic.

How Motsepe will help

“We are purchasing sanitisers, disinfectants, personal protective equipment 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.”

Motsepe said relevant organisations will also provide water to poor communities by purchasing water tanks, drilling and equipping for borehole water, and building sanitary facilities.

In addition, the organisations will help build classrooms, computer centres, and laboratories to assist students.

“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,” said Motsepe.

Other measures

In addition to these measures, organisations will be partnering with:

  • Traditional leaders, kings, queens and their communities.
  • 34 religious and faith-based organisations.
  • National, provincial and local government authorities.
  • Trade unions.
  • NGOs.
  • Sport organisations and entities.
  • Local, provincial and national business and professional organisations.
  • Black and white farmers and their representative organisations.

Sanlam CEO Ian Kirk said Sanlam was proud of their partnership with the Motsepe family.

“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,” said Kirk.

ARC CEO Johan van Zyl echoed these sentiments.

“As a nation we are in uncharted 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.”