CAPE TOWN-- President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has decided to donate half of his salary towards the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund to be launched on July 18, the birthday of former President Nelson Mandela.

The President made the announcement when he led the debate on the Budget Vote for the Presidency in the National Assembly here Wednesday. The announcement came as the country prepares to commemorate the centenary of President Nelson Mandela and fellow struggle icon Albertina Sisulu.

He said the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund will be administered by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

I have, and this is a private initiative, decided to contribute half of my Presidential salary to a fund that will be managed by the Nelson Mandela Fund. This is a private, citizen-driven initiative that will ask all of those with the means to contribute a small portion of their salaries to support the many projects to build the nation," he added.

This fund, through discussions that we have had with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will be launched on the 18th of July to mark the 100th anniversary of Madiba's birth and will be called the Nelson Mandela Thuma Mina Fund."

The President said citizens should put their differences aside and work together in the spirit of nation-building.

It is this spirit of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, a spirit of solidarity, a spirit of service, a spirit of shared humanity that we should seek to emulate. t is a spirit that has moved us to put our wars behind us, to cast aside our differences and to forge a new nation together," he said.

It is the spirit that moved us to put our wars behind us, to cast aside our differences and to forge a nation of equals. We have travelled far. We still have much further to go. By working together, by drawing on all our resources and capabilities, by embracing that which unites us and confronting that which divides us, I have no doubt that we will reach our destination."

Ramaphosa said that while there are still challenges, progress has been made in his first 100 days in office to improve the lives of all South Africans. It is nearly 100 days since we decided, together, to make a clear and decisive break with the discord and division of recent times. It was a moment at which we made plain our determination to act with urgency and resolve to transform our society, to grow our economy and to create the jobs that our people so desperately need, he added.

He said government has identified its shortcomings, acknowledged them and is now poised to make significant progress in addressing the challenges. Over the last few months, we have taken decisive steps to improve the business environment, promote the country to investors, ensure policy certainty, strengthen state owned companies and create pathways into employment for the youth," he said.

We are working with labour, business and communities to forge a new social compact around job creation, which will form the basis for a broader compact around growth, development and transformation. The Jobs Summit is an important part of this effort."