Pretoria - Billionaire Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe on Sunday announced his foundation would make R200-million available to youth education and youth business development.
He was invited to, for the first time, deliver a motivational speech to students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) main campus, west of the city.
About 400 students arrived in Mamelodi Sundowns shirts, waving banners with Motsepe’s face on them and singing the soccer club’s songs. Members of various local branches of the Sundowns supporters’ club put their banners up near the stage.
Addressing the students, Motsepe said he was always inspired by the young people he spoke to.
Sundowns were in the early stages of partnering with TUT, he said, in inviting the students to share ideas on how Sundowns could improve and how a partnership between the club and the students could be effective.
He urged the students to better themselves through education and to follow their dreams.
“Always pursue what makes you happy. Education is at the heart of achieving your dreams,” he said.
The Motsepe Foundation would, in the coming years, make hundreds of millions of rand available for tertiary education, businesses run by young people, religious institutions and sports, arts and culture development, he said.
“We have young people with so much talent and abilities, we need to provide them with opportunities,” he said.
Professor Nthabiseng Ogude, vice-chancellor and principal of TUT, welcomed the possibility of a partnership.
“Investment in education is the only way we are going to uplift our country,” she said.
Extra-curricular activities such as soccer were important for youth development, she said.
“Football is extremely important for social cohesion in our country.”
While waiting for Motsepe for more than two hours, some of the students were invited to share their favourite memories of Sundowns.
Tshepo Mphahlele said he played soccer and was a defender. His favourite moment was when Sundowns won the league at Odi Stadium north of the city.
Thabo Mailula from Limpopo said his favourite Sundowns moment was when they won the league three times in a row.
Another woman said Sunday’s meeting with Motsepe was her “best Sundowns moment”.
Among the guests were supporter mobilisation manager for the club, Alex Shakoane, former Sundowns striker Daniel Mudau and former coach Trott Moloto. Representatives from the Motsepe Foundation were also present.
The visit was part of the Motsepe Foundation roadshow.
Motsepe will visit Polokwane on Monday and Tshwane, Soweto and Ekurhuleni on Tuesday.