5 South Africans That Started Something With A Donation

Some of the greatest things in the world started with a donation - the yellow road marking, the now ubiquitous 'pill' form of contraception.

With an unrelenting bias, we'll offer that South Africa is a great country that has built, discovered and produced some of the world's greatest things - many on the back of a donation.

The South African Institute for Advancement (Inyathelo)'s Shelagh Gastrow runs us through a list of 5 people and their families that have been responsible for significant social impact, using their own money:

1. [Donald Gordon](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald<i>Gordon</i>(South<i>African</i>businessman):

He's made some very interesting personal philanthropic investments. The one is the Gordon Business Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria - which I'm sure anyone living in Johannesburg has driven past it at some point. He's also funded the Donald Gordon Medical Centre to the tune of R 100 million in a partnership with WITS University. Essentially, what he was looking at in terms of his vision, was establishing two world class institutions that would produce business and medical leaders in South Africa. And that has emerged from these two institutions. He is one of the top philanthropists in the country.

2. The Ackermans:

They set up the first family education trust, the Ackerman Family Trust, in the 1970's - they were very ahead of their time. One of the things that they funded was the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development at UCT's Graduate School of Business. But one of the big things that I think people are not aware of is that Raymond Ackerman - or it could have been his father or grandfather - was one of the founding donors for the establishment of the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital. This tradition of supporting this hospital has remained within the Ackerman family and they have pumped millions into the upgrading, the refurbishment, the re-equipping of this hospital. It has become a world-class facility that attracts paediatricians and academics from all over the world.

3. The Ruperts:

The concept of the Peace Parks - it was Anton Rupert who drove this concept - was something utterly unique in the world, where you have Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs). It made people really think about the notion of sovereignty and what borders meant and what was possible across borders. Not only did it create these huge conservation areas, it really created opportunities for thousands of jobs in local communities. It stretches right across Southern Africa - people from Mozambique, Zambia, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi. So when Anton Rupert passed away, Johan Rupert took over. What we know about Johan Rupert is that he donates his full salary to charity every year and it's in region of probably close to R 40 million.

4. Cyril Ramaphosa:

The Adopt-A-School Foundation – which he formed in 2002 – started with a school which he attended which contacted him asking him for a fax machine. When he went to visit the school, he realised there were a whole lot of other things that were needed. So he started the foundation and would leverage money by phoning other past pupils, saying ‘Well I’m putting in this, what are you going to put in?’ They’ve worked in hundreds of schools and built hundreds of facilities, they’ve trained teachers in IT and librarianship – they’re making an incredible change within the schools they work in.

5. Francois Van Niekerk:

He’s a very religious Christian and he made a commitment that if his business was successful, he would invest a huge portion of the company into a charitable foundation – and that’s what he did. The value of that shareholding is over a billion rand. He funds mainly church-based initiatives – but that doesn’t mean its propagation of the faith, it’s for lots of social programs around children and youth, healthcare, HIV and AIDS and general community programs. It’s done in other African countries like Namibia and Swaziland – he’s put in over a billion worth of his shareholding into this foundation.

Gastrow also notes the importance of philanthropy in encouraging a culture of pursuing risky research, business opportunity and innovation:

There are many questions around how philanthropists make their money, but there are many wealthy people who do not give back. And I often ask myself ‘How much does one need to keep within a family?’ The wonderful thing about philanthropy is because it isn’t government money – government can’t take risks because they’ve got to worry about voters, corporates also worry about shareholders and what would good corporate citizenship be, they don’t want to deal with risk – and with philanthropy, accountability isn’t much of an issue.


This article first appeared on 702 : 5 South Africans That Started Something With A Donation


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Why companies pay ‘golden handshakes’

Why companies pay ‘golden handshakes’

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Khokhela Consulting MD Laurence Grubb.

'We should be cutting interest rates, but there’s so much uncertainty!'

'We should be cutting interest rates, but there’s so much uncertainty!'

South Africa’s repo rate remains unchanged at 6.75%. Bruce Whitfield interviews Nedbank economist Busisiwe Radebe.

Cape Town is set to make history and headlines around the world on 21 April 2018

Cape Town is set to make history and headlines around the world on 21 April 2018

For centuries it had abundant water supplies. That's over. Bruce Whitfield interviews Future Water Institute’s Dr Kevin Winter.

5 business building habits to develop for 2018

5 business building habits to develop for 2018

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Aurik Business Accelerator’s Pavlo Phitidis.

Strategies for reducing your exposure to Naspers

Strategies for reducing your exposure to Naspers

Naspers constitutes a whopping 20% of the Top 40 index. Bruce Whitfield interviews Personal Financial Advisor Warren Ingram.

You can definitely teach creativity! – Rob Stokes (Red and Yellow )

You can definitely teach creativity! – Rob Stokes (Red and Yellow )

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Red and Yellow Creative School of Business Chairperson Rob Stokes.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Accidentally shared a nude on a WhatsApp group? Here's what you can do

[LISTEN] Accidentally shared a nude on a WhatsApp group? Here's what you can do

A woman mistakenly shared a naked photo of herself on a parent Whatsapp group and now it's gone viral.

De Lille: Additional water resources are not going to stop Day Zero.

De Lille: Additional water resources are not going to stop Day Zero.

The Level 6B water restrictions will come to effect on 1 February and residents are asked to use only 50 litres of water per day.

Punitive tariff hike for water guzzlers to hit CT households where it hurts

Punitive tariff hike for water guzzlers to hit CT households where it hurts

Harsher punitive tariffs on the cards as 'Day Zero' becomes a reality as the result of 60% of Capetonians who ignore water limits.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.