Yamkela Makupula

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Yamkela Makupula

CEO: Africa

96 Campbell Rd. Fourways Sandton, Johannesburg 2191 South Africa
+1 877-247-9277


Yamkela Makupula is a South African businesswoman and professional. She is the CEO of DRT Africa. She leads the Africa growth strategy department of the firm in different African countries. Yamkela has forged partnerships in different African countries, while working with African governments in solving US sanctions issues, the flow of investment in Africa from global investors, the issue of the land for South African traditional leaders, among other things.

As a businesswoman, Yamkela is the founder of Ngwenduna Investment Holdings (NIH), a private equity company that she is currently chairing. NIH is invested in Mining, Agriculture, Energy and Infrastructure.

She is a former Partner of PwC Africa, and her role was dealing with government’s economic policy, which seeks to solve issues of poverty, unemployment and inequality in order to implement Vision 2030 goals, that are articulated on the National Development plan. Yamkela plays a significant role of advising respective Ministries, on the eradication of poverty and unemployment. She leads a team of advisors that work with the National House of Traditional Leaders in investments for traditional leaders and their constituencies, through the Royal Holdings Investment Company. The aim is to get the rural sector to participate in the mainstream of the economy through investment in key sectors like Agriculture, Mining and the Financial Service Sector, among others.

In 2017 Yamkela was nominated by the international leadership organization, Common Purpose Organization, as one of the top 40 Africans under 40 leaders. She spent time in Kenya working with this organization programme, dealing with issues of renewable energy across Africa, advising the East African leaders on how to leapfrog on developed countries regarding this issue. She then spent time in Asia, with the top 40 under 40 Asian leaders studying how Asia has dealt with some of the leadership and economic issues that Africa is currently dealing with.

In 2017, she was also selected to attend the UN Women programme in the US, as part of the South African delegation that accompanied the Minister of Women in the Presidency, in dealing with getting women to participate in the global economy, and she works very closely with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities in South Africa, advising on various ways the South African government, policy makers and private sector can make sure that we achieve an inclusive economy with women’s involvement as the main protagonist.

Role in the Economy

Yamkela is quite actively involved in key economic activities in the country, like the Black Industrialist programme, crucial incoming foreign investments and the small business support programmes, working along with the advisor to the Minister of Small Business, Lindiwe Zulu, Dr Mazwai.

She recently joined a delegation with President Cyril Ramaphosa to the raise investments in the Middle East. Yamkela works closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry in various international investments through Invest South Africa. She was involved in the BRICS 2018 panel discussions, and the South Africa investment conference in October 2018.

She also deals with crucial areas like governance issues in state owned entities and the kind of support that is needed to make our State Owned Entities effective entities in order to grow our economy. In 2016 and 2017, Yamkela participated in the Youth in Mining programmes, assisting the youth in coming with various solutions on how to get the youth involved in the mining sector along with the Minister of Mining.

Role in Transformation

Yamkela has been a champion of transformation in various platforms, working closely with various structures in the country, as member and executive participant in the Financial Services Sector Transformation committee in 2017. Because of her passion for transformation at PwC, she became the chairperson of the Employment Equity in East London in 2014. In 2015, she was also involved in the Young Black Professionals programme, which teaches young professionals in dealing with management issues in the workplace. She currently works closely with the Department of Small Business Development dealing with policies and regulations that are hindering black businesses in participating in the mainstream economy.

In 2014, she was elected as one of the PwC Global Emerging Leaders, representing PWc South Africa in the formation of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. At the 2016 Gender Mainstream Awards, she was celebrated as one of the 4 PWC Women for their success in PwC South Africa. In December 2017, she was published by the Destiny Magazine as one of the top black women in South Africa. Yamkela has a diverse portfolio which is centred around her passion for economic participation for women and youth.