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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 31, 2023

Supposed Elon Musk promise that South Africans don’t have to work isn’t authentic

If Your Time is short

  • This video was altered.

What looks like a segment on a South African news channel follows a familiar script to dupe social media users into thinking X owner Elon Musk is enabling an entire country of people to stop working and get rich. 

"Residents of South Africa no longer need to work," an SABC News anchor appears to say in a video that appeared in an Oct. 30 Facebook post. "Such a statement was made by Elon Musk as he opens access to his new development which generates money automatically using artificial intelligence as a trader."

The video then cuts to Musk.

"I am providing access to my platform for my fellow countrymen where I come from," Musk appears to say. "To get the system up and running, a minimum investment of 4,700 rand is required. This is the minimum amount at which the system will start making profitable trades in the stock and cryptocurrency markets. To gain access, you need to register on the official website, wait for a manager’s call who will assist you in the subsequent steps, including account funding and program setup."

Text at the bottom of the screen says, "How to start with 4700R and make passively 370000R monthly?" and "South African is shocked by Elon Musk’s statement." 

Featured Fact-check

The Facebook post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Musk was born in South Africa, but we found no evidence to support the claims in this video, which was altered. 

The original footage of Musk comes from an April Fox News interview in which he discussed artificial intelligence, but didn’t make a sweeping promise to South Africans that hinged on some supposed moneymaking platform. 

"AI is more dangerous than, say, mismanaged aircraft design or production maintenance or bad car production," Musk said in the original interview. 

In August, we fact-checked a similar post that included an altered video in which a news anchor appeared to say: "All British residents no longer need to work. That’s the announcement made by our guest today, Elon Musk, who will unveil a new investment project." 

Claims that the video was authentic were wrong, and so is this one. We rate this post Pants on Fire!


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Supposed Elon Musk promise that South Africans don’t have to work isn’t authentic

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