Founder Profile

Thabo Owen Mokwena

Chairman of the Leago Group


Bachelor of Social Science (University of Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa)

Post-Graduate Diploma in Executive Management (University of Durban Westville, KZN)

Masters in Development Economics (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)

Certificate in Infrastructure Development and Finance (Oxford University, London)

Diploma in Financial Management Strategy ( Oxford University, London)

Areas of Expertise

Business Strategy, Policy development and analysis, Assessment, Conceptualisation and Implementation of Organisational and Governance Models, Business Analysis and Development, Sector Reform


Thabo Owen Mokwena is a specialist in Economic Development, Finance and Strategy.

Mokwena holds various degrees and qualifications from the University of Cape Town, University of Durban Westville, London School of Economics, and Oxford University. Currently he is doing a research thesis with the University of the Witwatersrand and Financial Strategy with Oxford University.

Mokwena’s leadership expertise range from academia, the private and public sectors. He contributed towards and participated at high levels which had shaped the cornerstones of the South African Democratic State. He has over 20 years of leadership and executive management experience, with an extensive background, wide range of experience and excellent track record.

Mokwena is a director of the Centre of Public Entities, an Honorary Research Fellow, founding member and Chairman of the Leago Group. He was the second Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and served SALGA from 1998 to 2005. As CEO of SALGA he was among the key architects of the post-apartheid local government systems, a notable achievement while serving local government for more than a decade.

He served as special advisor to the Minister of Minerals and Energy, and played a role in free basic energy and minerals beneficiation. He was also special advisor to the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, responsible for the establishment of a parliamentary Unit that oversees Institutions Supporting Democracy. Mokwena was also appointed to coordinate the catalytic Infrastructure Programmes of the twelve biggest cities in South Africa, integrating them with transport and human settlements.

Further to that, he served in key national structures of influence and decision making such as the Forum of South African Director Generals, Presidential Coordinating Council, Budget Forum and various Parliamentary fora. He also served as a Board Member of several State Owned Entities such as PETROSA, PRASA (SARCC) and EDI. Internationally, Mokwena served and participated in various organisations such as the Common Wealth on Local Government, United Cities and Local Governments, ICLEI and Afro-cities.