They make millions every year. But Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko and Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub have agreed to spend a winter’s night on the cold streets of Johannesburg — and will even stump up a large amount of cash for the “privilege” of doing so.
It’s all part of a project led by radio station 702 and Sun International called the CEO Sleepout.
Maseko and Joosub will cough up R100 000 each to charity and put their heads down for the night on a cold pavement.
The event will take place on 18 June, three days before the winter solstice.
Maseko was nominated by MultiChoice South Africa Group CEO Imtiaz Patel, who has in turn nominated Business Connexion CEO Isaac Mophatlane and newly appointed acting Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to join them.
Joosub was nominated by Ran Neu-Ner of the Creative Counsel on 17 April.
Joosub, in turn, has thrown out the challenge to all telecoms CEOs. MTN South Africa CEO Ahmad Farroukh and Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos have not yet said whether they plan to join their rivals on the pavement.
The CEO Sleepout is an initiative started by Bernard Fehon in Australia 10 years ago.
Rather than have just another fundraiser for the poor, he decided he wanted CEOs to experience the realities of living on the street — just as the homeless do.
The Sleepout is being hosted by 702 and Sun International in South Africa. It will see the CEOs of many of South Africa’s top companies spend a night on the pavement in Gwen Lane in Sandton. The street is home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The CEO Sleepout embraces the cause of vulnerable children and funds raised will go to Girls and Boys Towns.
Organisers hope that 250 CEOs will participate to raise a total of R25m. The project will be rolled out to the rest of the country in 2016. Besides raising funds, the initiative aims to create empathy and understanding for the plight of the homeless. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media