bp Southern Africa : Expansion, Evolution, and Progress

Lily Sawyer
Lily Sawyer - Editor
  • As a global brand, bp Southern Africa recognises the importance of achieving excellence in its products alongside the partners and connections it cultivates.
  • “We invest in our terminal infrastructure to provide world-class road and rail gantries, fire-fighting capability, tanks, and pipelines,” says Taelo Mojapelo, CEO of bp Southern Africa.

Global energy brand, bp Southern Africa, can be found at the forefront of the industry, ushering in a new era of sustainable socioeconomic development for the region, headed by CEO, Taelo Mojapelo.


Having operated in the region for over a century, bp Southern Africa (bpSA) now boasts over 500 branded service stations.  

Its core products include the award-winning flagship fuel, bp Ultimate with ACTIVE technology, as well as the Wild Bean Café, Pick n Pay Express, and bp Express brands. 

The company has a range of interests in hydrocarbon importation and the distribution of leading fuel products through its retail and Castrol businesses.  

“Our lubricant brand, Castrol, is the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad range of premium lubricating oils and related services to automotive and industrial customers across South Africa,” opens Taelo Mojapelo, CEO of bpSA.  

As such, Castrol works with leading car manufacturers to supply lubricants designed for specific operating conditions and environments. 

bpSA’s head offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg, act as the central hub for the company’s strategy development, management, and decision-making processes. As the business faces an evolving industry landscape that seeks sustainable and representative change, these processes are of increasing importance.  

In terms of meeting the growing energy demand in South Africa, bpSA remains a meaningful contributor to the security of product supply in the region.  

“We continue to focus on the improvement of our distribution commitments to our network of service stations,” Mojapelo asserts. 


As a global brand, bpSA recognises the importance of achieving excellence in its products alongside the partners and connections it cultivates.  

In this way, the company takes pride in its six fuel storage terminals, two of which are 100 percent owned by bpSA.  

“We invest in our terminal infrastructure to provide world-class road and rail gantries, fire-fighting capability, tanks, and pipelines,” Mojapelo prides.  

Through various shared value partnerships, bpSA’s customers can also enjoy benefits in the form of loyalty points and rewards.  

“Our strategic partnerships with leading brands, including Pick n Pay, Nedbank, Uber, Mr D Food, Vodacom, and Discovery Insure, have enhanced our customer value proposition, increasing foot traffic to our service stations,” she explains.  

In terms of its strong assets and connections, the company holds a 50 percent share in one of the largest refineries in Africa, South African Petroleum Refineries (SAPREF), situated in Durban. SAPREF’s operations are currently suspended, and bpSA is considering its options for the asset.  

On behalf of the local petroleum industry, SAPREF also manages the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM Offshore), through which South Africa imports around 80 to 85 percent of its  
crude oil.


bpSA continuously reviews its strategy in line with a competitive and evolving business landscape, reimagining the future accordingly.  

“We are transforming into an energy company underpinned by a net zero goal and capacitating the business to ensure that it is future-proof and relevant,” Mojapelo comments. 

Its 2025 vision is to optimise a resilient hydrocarbon base to capture retail and low-carbon growth opportunities.  

In line with this vision, bpSA is expanding its footprint to strategic sites, including motorways, and rolling out a consistent, competitive convenience offering.  

“These initiatives are being pursued in conjunction with our strategy of transforming the racial profile of our franchisees and forecourt business owners,” she emphasises.  

Therefore, bpSA is investing between ZAR20 and ZAR25 million in the roll-out of its new sites, with 15 scheduled for this year and an additional 11 planned for 2025.  

At the same time, the company is adding solar installations to its forecourts to help stations transition from the use of diesel generators for back-up power, whilst four sites have been selected for a solar photovoltaic (PV) pilot. 


Employing over 500 people from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds in its offices and depots, bpSA was recognised as the Top Empowered Company in Education and Skills Development in 2023. 

Moreover, Mojapelo’s appointment as CEO in June 2020 underscores bpSA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.  

As only the second African woman in the history of South Africa’s oil and gas industry to head a multinational company, Mojapelo’s position sets an important precedent. 

Ensuring safety is likewise a top priority for bpSA, as it works hard to keep employees and contractors safe and alert to potential hazards.  

“We track our safety performance using industry metrics, and we work to continuously improve personal and process safety across the bp group,” Mojapelo asserts.


bpSA has worked hard to understand what is needed to make its communities sustainable. The company’s overall aim is to achieve sustainable socioeconomic development for all beneficiaries which will, in turn, positively impact the business. 

In terms of franchise development, a recently announced partnership with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) will see significant bp funds diverted to helping Black entrepreneurs access sufficient finances to purchase service stations or forecourt businesses. 

The bpSA/SEFA Enterprise Development Fund extends its reach to beneficiaries classified as exempted micro enterprises (EMEs) or qualifying small enterprises (QSEs). 

“This inclusive approach recognises the importance of empowering historically disadvantaged groups in the business landscape,” Mojapelo confirms.  

Building strong supplier and contractor relations is also vital to the company, who is committed to sourcing materials and labour in line with local guidelines, whilst developing local market capabilities and capacity to ensure contributions to the surrounding population and economy.  

bpSA also aims to deliver greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) for its customers, workforce, and suppliers, positively contributing to social mobility and the ecosystem of DE&I by sourcing from a diverse range of suppliers. 

“Our transformation agenda puts purpose into action. It takes an integrated approach whilst focusing on the areas where we believe we can make the greatest difference,” she informs. 


As a company committed to conducting business in an ethical, transparent way, in line with its values and code of conduct, bpSA expects employees to treat others with respect, fairness, and dignity.  

“Our code of conduct sets clear expectations for how we work at bpSA. This applies to all employees and members of the board,” Mojapelo announces.  

bpSA also expects its contractors and their employees to act in a way that is consistent with this code. If those expectations are not met, the company takes appropriate action. 

In line with its high internal standards, bpSA continues its dedication to fair and ethical practices within the local community. As such, its investment in education, youth development, and addressing poverty is notable.  

“Our investment in the Energy Mobility Education Trust (EMET) has continued to change the lives of young, Black South Africans,” she reveals.  

Since bpSA established the trust in 2014, it has invested an impressive total of ZAR247 million to benefit 4,298 young people through STEM education and skills development. 

In 2023 alone, EMET supported 574 high school learners, and 157 undergraduate students received scholarships to six of South Africa’s leading universities.  

Moreover, bpSA has established a long-term partnership with SA Harvest, and is involved in the food distribution charity’s Million Meals Month initiative.  

bpSA’s role is to fuel the charity’s vehicles, and the delivery of 55 million meals between 2022 and 2025. 

“We are part of a network of farmers, manufacturers, and retailers who support the community-based organisation to alleviate hunger and increase access to nutritious food supplies,” Mojapelo proudly concludes.

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