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S. African Billionaire Gives Half of Fortunes to Charity

Patrice Motsepe, Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals, South Africa, attends a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, January 30, 2009.
South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe says he will give half of his family fortune to charity.

Motsepe, the owner of the African Rainbow Minerals mining company, has announced plans to join the Giving Pledge, an effort launched by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investment tycoon Warren Buffett to encourage the world's wealthiest to give away at least half of their wealth.

Motsepe is one of Africa's richest people. The U.S.-based Forbes magazine estimates his net worth is about $2.65 billion.

The mining company owner says he will give half of his wealth to the Motsepe Foundation, a charity that Motsepe and his wife established in 1999 to help disadvantaged South Africans.

In a statement, Motsepe said his donations would be used to improve the living conditions of people, including those who are disabled, unemployed or "marginalized" by society.