About Us

Energy Entrepreneurs, through and through

 About Decentral Energy Managers

Decentral Energy Managers is currently managing the Grovest Energy Fund, which invests equity into energy projects that are either operational or in pre-construction phase. The directors of Decentral share the goal of expedient capital deployment, and pre-construction projects must be below permitting thresholds in order to avoid protracted development periods. By investing in a diversified portfolio of small scale projects, the fund reduces risk and creates value for its investors. Our multi-disciplinary team has the skills and experience to deliver commercial energy projects successfully.

Fund Structure

Meet the Team

 

With its unique combination of energy experience and multi-disciplinary skills, the team has the credentials to execute projects optimally.

Mafika Mkwanazi

Mafika Edmund Mkwanazi was the Non –Executive Chairman of Transnet SOC from December 2010 to December 2014 and also non-executive director of Eskom from July 2011 to December 2014. He completed a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Zululand in 1978. He also graduated with a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering from the University of Natal (Howard College) in 1984. He was at some stage CEO of Transnet and Chairman of Letseng diamonds, Western areas gold mine and non-executive director of Nedbank for 9 years.

He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of HULAMIN, and is Non- Executive Director of MSC South Africa as well as Stefanutti and Stocks.

Mafika Mkwanazi

Non-executive Chairman
Luel Culwick

Luel Culwick is a Director of Sidala Energy Solutions which he co-founded with Christiaan Bode in 2009 whilst completing their studies. Luel graduated from Wits in 2008 with a BSc Eng in Industrial Engineering, and in 2010 with an MSc Eng in Sustainable Energy Engineering from UCT (the Energy Research Centre).

Sidala has initiated and developed four Small Hydropower projects in South Africa totalling 111MW and a total investment value of some R4bil. Sidala led the sale of a 5MW Small Hydro Project ahead of its successful bid into the Fourth Bid Submission Phase of REI4P.  Thereafter, Sidala took a step further and was the Lead Member of the Rooikat Hydropower Consortium which was the Bidder in respect of the Rooikat Hydropower Project in the Expedited Bid Submission Phase of the REI4P, which Sidala managed and compiled in its entirety.

Luel’s primary capability is renewable energy project initiation and development, and value creation through risk management and commercialisation of projects. His skills include integration of the technical, legal, financial and environmental / regulatory aspects of project development, as well as procurement and management of multidisciplinary teams. He has fund raising experience including having raised development funding of R40mil and grant funding of R15mil to date. His work for Sidala has fallen mainly within the rigors of limited recourse project finance environment.

Luel Culwick

Non-executive Director
Malcolm Segal

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Malcolm practised as a partner of Grant Thornton (Chartered Accountant and Business Advisors) and was elected Managing partner of the Johannesburg office in 1986 and National Executive Chairman in 1989. Malcolm established MDM Private Equity Investment Fund in 1997 which he managed until acquired by Sasfin Holdings Limited in 2005.

In February 2012, Malcolm resigned from the boards of both Sasfin Holdings Limited and Sasfin Bank Limited to enable him to pursue his passion – entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial funding activities. Malcolm currently sits on the boards of various companies in which he holds a private equity investment and, inter alia, is also an External Member of the Special Credit Committee of the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited) and a member of the Listings Advisory Committee of AltX (Alternate Exchange of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange).

Malcolm Segal

Non-executive Director
Doug Smollan

Doug is Chairman of “The Smollan Group” which was founded by Doug’s father, Fred Smollan, in 1931. The Smollan Group employs roughly 50 000 people and has a presence in 5 (five) continents. Doug is passionate about South Africa, its people and its development. He served as President of Young Presidents Organisation Worldwide in 1994/1995, the second Non-American to do so in 50 (fifty) years, at that time he was Chairman of Business Against Crime (“BAC”), Gauteng in 1997.   

In 2000, he joined BAC’s National Board. Doug heads up the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa Anti-Crime initiative. Doug is a Pioneer of the Nelson Mandela: “The Champion Within” Program with Life College to develop R1,000,000 (one million rand) champions by 2020.

Doug Smollan

Non-executive Director
Christiaan Bode

Christiaan graduated with two Master’s degrees with both degrees focussed on different aspects within the renewable energy sector.

Christiaan co-founded Sidala Energy Solutions with Luel Culwick in 2009 and has since gained 8 years of working experience developing projects in the renewable energy sector. Sidala developed a pipeline of over 100MW of small hydro plants in SA which will create pprox.. R4bil worth of capital investment opportunity for its shareholders. Sidala was first successful in the 4th window of the REI4P with its 5MW small hydro being selected as preferred bidder.

Christiaan has focussed all energy into maximising development and equity returns to investors by entrenching himself in all commercial and technical aspects of the project pipeline. Having been a project owner, he has developed a passion for negotiating and deal making and has gained significant legal and commercial experience in project development and implementation.

Christiaan Bode

Non-executive Director
Jeff Miller

Jeffrey is a Chartered Accountant having completed his articles at Grant Thornton and has over 30 years’ experience investing in unquoted companies across numerous industries. Jeffrey co-founded Brandcorp, which was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1997. He brings many years of operational and investment skills to the company. He was a co-founder of KNR Flatrock, Balboa Finance, Born Free Properties, Eurosuit, Bride & Co., Seed Engine, Seed Academy and VCMS. Jeffrey is a pioneer of Section 12J Venture Capital Companies in South Africa and is an active member of various subcommittees of SAVCA and Simodisa, both of which focus their efforts on the South African Venture Capital industry.

Jeff Miller

Non-executive director
Elekanyani Ndlovu

Elekanyani is a qualified engineer; she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from UCT (University of Cape Town) and completed the Technology Leadership Programme with Eskom and Da Vinci. She is professionally registered (Pr. Eng) with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). She serves on the Board of the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) as a non-executive member and on the SABS Commercial Board as a non-executive director. She is also a board member of Phato Investment Cooperative, a communal commercial structure of common minded individuals.  

Her experience in the energy sector includes working on large scale infrastructure projects and has been trained internationally in the United States of America (USA), Kansas, on engineering design. She has participated in the Bio-mass VGB (European technical association for power and heat generation) Work Group and KEMA in Netherlands. She is currently heading up an engineering and project management function at Pele Energy Group which is a South African black owned Independent Power Producer that owns and operates 902MW of renewable energy power plants in varying stages of development.

Elekanyani Ndlovu

Non-executive Director