Some billionaires are known to be philanthrophist. The big question now is will Ramaphosa extend his personal wealth to the poor and downtrodden?
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa is one of the country’s richest men, his wealth has been estimated at around R5.67 billion. Interestingly his success as a businessman is one of the reasons people trust that he won’t ‘dip into the state cookie jars’. His home in Fresnaye is rumoured to be worth well over R30 million.
Ramaphosa, 65, was centrally involved in negotiating South Africa’s constitution and was the ANC’s secretary-general when Nelson Mandela was released from jail in 1992. A lawyer by training, Ramaphosa formed the National Union of Mineworkers, then the country’s largest trade union.
Ramaphosa, who held Mandela’s microphone at his first public address after 27 years in detention, was the Nobel Laurette’s preferred choice of successor. But he was overruled in favour of Thabo Mbeki, the country’s second democratic president.
Ramaphosa went into business and became a billionaire, ironically as a shareholder in mining companies, until he rejoined the ANC as Zuma’s deputy president in both the ANC and government five years ago.
Ramaphosa, who was elected president of the ANC in December by a slim majority, has already begun changes to revitalize the South African economy which has been in decline under Zuma. He was forced to finally institute an inquiry into state capture after losing a court bid against a ruling by South Africa’s graft ombudsman.