Makole Mupita, founder and executive director of Mahlako a Phahla Investments. As a CA(SA) with 24 years of experience in private equity, ESG investing, asset management, infrastructure, and development finance, Makole Mupita, co-founder and executive director of Mahlako a Phahla Investments, an investment holding company focused on investments and advisory, is a prime example of excellence in economic development.
If you can see it, you can be it
Makole spearheads the Mahlako Energy Fund, applying innovative solutions to investing and building sustainable energy businesses across renewable energy, gas, and energy services. She is a leading figure and voice in the energy and financial services sector and applies her pioneering spirit and exceptional experience to delivering value on behalf of discerning investment partners.
Makole led the Mahlako Energy Fund’s investment into the 30 MW solar PV projects concluded for Harmony Gold Mine. Mahlako and its partners were early movers under regulatory changes which allow for investment in new generation capacity of up to 100 MW per licence.
It was the first project to reach financial close with a private PPA concluded under amended electricity regulations in South Africa.
She has led and been involved in landmark infrastructure deals that have shaped the South African infrastructure landscape and have participated in the successful refinancing of various infrastructure projects as well as executing notable public-private partnership transactions.
Most recently, she steered the Mahlako team in a ground-breaking flagship energy wheeling project with Amazon Web Services − a first-of-its-kind project outside of the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
Adams Solar is the first large-scale private wheeling project in South Africa (power is generated 1 000 km from the point of consumption). The project generates 28 000 MWh per annum, which is the equivalent annual energy consumption of 8 000 houses.
The project will result in 26 547 tons of carbon dioxide emissions avoided per annum with 167 jobs created during construction of the project and 63% of those filled by persons from areas surrounding the project.
Makole has held various other board positions and memberships throughout her career, serving on social and ethics committees as well as audit committees. She currently sits on the board of Wiphold, serving as the risk and audit committee chair and chair of the valuation committee. In addition, she is the director of Project Adams, Solar Capital De Aar 3, and Lesedi – a major engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company. She is also a trustee of the FoodForwardSA Foundation.
‘I am passionate about the development of South Africa and Africa, with a keen emphasis on transformation and women’s development. I believe making a difference contributes positively to society and impacts the world in a meaningful way.’
Makole is personally committed to, and passionate about several philanthropic efforts leaning towards educating young girls. She is also the co-founder of the Black Energy Professionals Association (BEPA), an organisation that exists to represent and champion the specific interests of black people to achieve radical economic transformation of the energy sector in South Africa.
With the above achievements, Makole believes she has made significant strides towards South Africa’s Just Transition Plan and towards economic development.
Makole feels humbled by receiving the Difference Makers award. ‘Because I have been acknowledged by my profession and my peers. I hope that other young CAs(SA) can look at this award and know that they can do more and make a difference in everything that they do – they can still work, make money and make a difference.
There is still a lot that Makole wants to achieve, including ‘initiating ground-breaking projects to end load-shedding, end poverty, and let every black child know that it is possible and if they can see it they can be it. I believe there is a lot of work to be done, including mobilising capital to make a difference in South Africa and make South Africa great.’