It all began in 1958
Following Sir Ernest Oppenheimer’s death in 1957, Harry Oppenheimer established The Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust to honour his father’s memory as a man committed to the common good. With a generous donation of £1 000 000, matching the issued share capital of the Anglo American Corporation 40 years before, the trust set out to use it funds for
“… the advancement of science or art or of an educational, charitable or ecclesiastical nature, …wholly for purposes which are in the public interest, … primarily for the benefit of the people…,irrespective of race, colour or creed…”
Like his father, Harry Oppenheimer was known both for his business acumen and enlightened approach to the role of business in society. These characteristics informed the intent of the trust, ensuring we have been consistently responsive to the prevailing environment and that resources are targeted effectively.
The mandated inclusion of non-family members as Trustees, drawing on individuals with different life experiences, offers a broad and invaluable perspective to supporting our philanthropic giving. In 2012, the Oppenheimer family committed to endow OMT with a further R1 billion, underlining the family’s commitment to making a positive difference to South African society.