South Africa's President Ramaphosa to donate half his salary

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced he will donate half his $290,000 salary to charity in honour of the country's first black leader, Nelson Mandela.

Mr Ramaphosa - who took over from Jacob Zuma in December, and is facing a national election in 2019 - announced the move in parliament on Wednesday.

The donations, he said, would form part of a new fund called Thuma mina (Send me), and would be managed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The billionaire also hopes others will follow in his footsteps - even if it was not with money.

"In memory of Madiba, in recognition of the great sacrifices he made and his tireless commitment to improving the lives of the most vulnerable, there is something that many of us can do," he explained, according to South Africa's News24.

"We are looking for people with skills, time and commitment to 'lend a hand' to these community-based projects through mentoring, training and capacity building.

"In this way, we aim to provide South Africans with a tangible opportunity, with a significant impact, to be an integral part of the fight against poverty."

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The fund will be launched on what would have been President Mandela's 100th birthday later this year.