Aside from the extension to the lockdown, a piece of mindblowing news last week was that President Cyril Ramaphosa, his deputy, ministers and deputy ministers would forego a third of their salary for the next three months.

That third will instead be donated to the Solidarity Fund, which was setup to help fight COVID-19.

Following the president’s announcement, several business leaders have followed Ramaphosa’s lead and will be contributing a third of their salary to the fund.

Among those is Vodacom Group chief executive officer, Shameel Joosub.

“On Thursday, South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, set an incredible example by announcing that he would be taking a one-third pay cut for the next three months and that his entire cabinet will do the same. I, too, will heed the President’s call by donating a third of my salary for the next three months to the Solidarity Fund and call on other CEOs to follow suit,” said the CEO.

Vodacom reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic rather quickly by taking precautions to mitigate the potential spread of the disease. That having been said, Joosub’s commitment to fighting the disease is admirable.

Another firm where bigwigs will give up a third of their salary is the FirstRand group.

Chief executive officer at FirstRand Group, Alan Pullinger, announced at the weekend that the group’s CEOs, chief operating officers and chief financial officers would forego 30 percent of their salaries for three months.

“The President’s request is meaningful, and we believe he is right to ask business leadership to step up and make the same sacrifice, particularly given what is at stake for our country,” Pullinger said.

The funds from FirstRand’s bigwigs will be directed to the group’s SPIRE Fund, which is focused on improving critical care in South Africa as well as providing personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

Sticking with banks for a moment, Standard Bank has followed the president’s example, somewhat.

The bank has said that it will set up a mechanism to allow executives to make donations to the Solidarity Fund in their own capacity.

“We strongly believe that philanthropy is inherently from the heart and deeply personal. Contributions should be made on a voluntary basis and with accommodation for confidentiality where preferred,” chief executive at Standard Bank South Africa, Lungisa Fuzile, said in a statement.

Nedbank’s chief executive officer, Mike Brown has also pledged to donate a third of his salary to the Solidarity Fund according to Fin24.

Business bigwigs aren’t the only ones donating part of their salary to fight COVID-19.

Political parties such as the EFF and IFP have announced they will be donating a portion of salaries to the Solidarity Fund as well.

We’d like to commend these folks for giving up a portion of their salary to fight the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa. We hope to see more business leaders follow suit in the coming days.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]