Harith General Partners Appoints Sipho Makhubela As New CEO

Mr Sipho Makhubela

Leading Pan-African infrastructure financier, Harith General Partners, a stakeholder in cable company MainOne, and partners in ARM HARITH private equity firm based in Nigeria, has announced the appointment of Mr Sipho Makhubela as its new Chief Executive Officer with effect from September 1, 2020.

The announcement was made at its Annual Investors’ Feedback meeting held recently.

Sipho’s appointment follows Mr Tshepo Mahloele’s request to step aside as Harith’s CEO earlier this year, after 14 years of successfully developing signature infrastructure projects on the African continent. Mahloele’s notice of resignation became effective on February 29, this year and was followed by a six-month transition handover period.

Before his appointment, Makhubela was Harith’s managing director for investments.  Makhubela is a seasoned investment professional with proven industry leadership and extensive board experience. Throughout his private equity career, he has invested in, and grown, businesses across the continent. He has more than 20 years’ investment industry experience, having worked in companies such as Coronation Capital, AMB and Investec.

“As the Board, we have full confidence in Sipho and we look forward to the continued success of Harith under his leadership. He brings to the role strategic continuity, insight and experience which I’m certain will stand us in good stead as we navigate the new normal brought about by the Covid-19 world,” said Jabu Moleketi, Chairman of the Harith Board.

Makhubela extended his thanks to Mahloele, who he said has been so central to Harith’s success. He said: “Tshepo, you are an inspiration to all of us at Harith and I look forward to working with you in your new role. Your counsel and wisdom will continue to be invaluable as we take this leading infrastructure investor forward. Through your talent and relentless drive, you have built a recognized African investment brand, with strong governance processes, a track record of signature infrastructure projects on the continent and a team of admired investment specialists.”

“I am glad that as Harith we are not losing Tshepo and we will still have the opportunity to tap into his wisdom and leadership albeit with him playing a different role”,  added Moleketi.

Under Mahloele’s leadership, Harith has acted as a catalyst for Africa’s development through notable investments in various infrastructure assets across the continent. These include Main One, the 14000km undersea cable company in Nigeria, providing internet connectivity to millions of West Africans; the Henrie Konare Bedie Bridge in Côte d’Ivoire; Lanseria International Airport in South Africa and the 300MW Lake Turkana Wind farm in Kenya, among others. 

After a stellar investment career at the Commonwealth Development Corporation, Rand Merchant Bank and Public Investment Corporation, Mahloele founded Harith in 2006, inspired by the vision of the African renaissance espoused by former President Thabo Mbeki. “We wanted to raise African capital to build Africa’s infrastructure and prove to the world that Africa’s infrastructure is an attractive asset class,” Mahloele said.

Mahloele will assume a new role as group executive director in charge of strategic initiatives and will provide support to the new CEO and his leadership team.

“I would like to thank the Board of Harith for its leadership and guidance throughout this amazing journey,” said Mahloele. “I am grateful for this opportunity and for the trust that the Board, investors and broader stakeholders placed in me during my tenure as CEO. I want to thank my team for being such professionals and for relentlessly and effectively executing our mandate on behalf of our investors. As my role within Harith changes, I will continue to contribute, albeit in a different capacity, to our mission of changing the continent for the better through the development and financing of world-class infrastructure projects.”

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