Welcome to Ukupha Group

We place great importance on ensuring that our business and dealings are sustainable, considerate, compassionate and focused on the future.

Ukupha means to give

Ukupha encapsulates our practical approach, strategic principals and moral ambition in business and commerce.


Our History

The Ukupha Group was formed in 1999 by Mr Lazarus Mbethe, the Chairman and Founder of the Group. Despite the many difficulties faced by the indigenous Black African population in South Africa, Mr Mbethe started his entrepreneurial journey in 1969, with a number of successful businesses in Mpumalanga that included the first black-owned dry cleaners, a shopping centre, metal dealers as well as forming a joint venture with Anglo American Corporation and Reclamation Group for the sale of scrap metal.

The Group initially started as an agri-business and agri-processing company which has, through its15-year history, grown to include a property investment company as well as founding one of the largest manganese mining companies in the world – the United Manganese of Kalahari. Other investments included a renewable energy development company, logistics and transportation, liquid fuels trading and FMCG companies.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." – Jonathan Swift

Our Vision: To create a sustainable future through the spirit of giving
We believe that it is possible for business to consider people, our environment and our collective future while making profits. For us, it is not up to someone else to deliver – rather, it is up to us because each one of us plays a part in creating our future.

Our Mission: United, we provide world class and tailored services with integrity to our customers
We strive to consistently provide a service that is of the best standard with our focus on delivering in the best interest of our customer. Our growth relies on how our customers, partners and stakeholders grow, which is a driver for our integrity, how we interact, transact and deal with our customers, partners and stakeholders.

Acknowledging and assuming responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies

Committing to always providing an exceptional produc and service

Encouraging employees to take initiative and give their best, while adopting an error-embracing environment to empower employees to lead and make decisions

Pursuing new creative ideas that have the potential to change the world

Acting with honesty and honour without compromising the truth

Support and look after the company and our customers as if they belonged to each individual employee

Leverage the power of many to tap into our collective geniusenvironment to empower employees to lead and make decisions

Founded on solid conservative and traditional principles, Ukupha Group is strengthened by its values together with the vibrancy and passion of a talented group of the young, energetic people who work here.


Our partners, customers and friends

Mining continues to play an active part in the management of the holding company and operating company to ensure that the aims and goals are maintained, and to ensure that the officers acting on behalf of the Group exercise their fiduciary duties to the fullest.

Agriculture has a long-term yet goal-oriented viewpoint for operations. We continue to develop the skills of employees and management, while encouraging novel farming methodology.

Our Portfolio of Investments

Through our investments, we seek ways to broaden the market and increase standards, which are valuable for addressing community participation and empowerment. We understand the benefits of diversification and creating opportunities and returns for the communities in which we work.

Our Social Investment

“It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

In acknowledgment of the community as an integral stakeholder in the success of the Group, we strive to offer visible benefits to the communities in which we are active through mentorship, skills development, and entrepreneurial development.

One of the core ways that we develop communities is through our Community Trust, which focuses on the Kuruman communities. Through this commitment, Ukupha Group has delivered numerous projects – to find out more, click here


Our Management

The Ukupha group boasts a wide spectrum of experience and expertise. We have the know-how and drive to develop, implement, and manage either small, medium, or large-scale projects. Our goals and ideals set by our founder ensure that we are mindful and careful with what we have, while looking to what we can create.

Lazarus M. Mbethe
Group Chairman and Executive Director: Agri-business
Founding Member of the United Manganese Kalahari

Mr Mbethe is the Director of United Manganese of Kalahari (UMK) and is also the Executive Chairman of Pitsa Ya Setshaba (Pty) Ltd. He has practical business experience spanning three decades in FMCG, sales, marketing, mining, government and private sector co-operations, agriculture, renewable energy, property, development and investment. As the Chairman of the Group, Mr Mbethe is instrumental in the formulation, implementation and oversight of group strategy. He is also involved in the day-to-day management of the Group’s agricultural interests, which includes niche vegetable farming and livestock. Mr Mbethe has accumulated extensive experience in the general mining environment over the last 20 years. His in-depth understanding of the governmental challenges, processes and visions with regards to black economic empowerment and his extensive knowledge of the workings of the Department of Minerals and Energy has, over the years, created close working relations with the structures of the Department.

Pelma Y. Chiswanda
Group Finance Officer 

Mrs Chiswanda is a Chartered Accountant CA (SA) and the Group’s Chief Finance Officer. Pelma has extensive experience gained from her previous employment with PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte Consulting (SA) and Ngubane & Co. chartered accountants and auditors. She brings to the Group a mature, competent and tempered outlook backed by knowledge and skills that include audit and audit management, accounting, management consulting and project management in various industrial sectors. In addition, she is currently studying towards an MBA with the Gordon Institute of Business.

Molebogeng Mbethe
Executive Director Liquid Fuels
Director: Property Company

Ms Molebogeng Mbethe has previous experience working for a number of South African blue-chip companies at a management level and brings this experience to her role heading Ukupha Group’s liquid fuel strategy. As Chief Executive Officer of Mohwelere Trading and Advent Oil, she also oversees the Group’s liquid fuels business. Ms Mbethe has functional and practical experience gained both locally and internationally. She is also fully competent in, and knowledgeable of, all areas related to the import, export and sale of liquid fuel products.


We would love to hear from you

If you would like to know more about us, or have a specific question, please feel free to contact us.

Ukupha Group
Ground floor, San Lameer Building, the Greens Office Park
Charles Degaulle Crescent,
Centurion South Africa 0157

Telephone: (+27) 11 530-8200