🔒 Boardroom Talk – Energy turnaround specialist KW Miller on Eskom: both rational and mind-blowing

We finally managed to co-ordinate diaries for that promised interview with energy turnaround specialist KW Miller. It was worth the wait. He was full value – joining the dots in the Eskom mess in a way that makes a lot of sense. He describes Eskom as comfortably the worst he has come across in three decades of examining and fixing similar disasters.

I approached the interview determined to tackle the man who reckons because of the plundering at Eskom, and the impact on the economy as a whole, South Africa is itself on the verge of bankruptcy. As one would. But as he laid out his case, it became ever harder to challenge his assertions.

Eskom has been plundered to the point of near extinction. Check. It is still being bled dry by third parties injected on grounds of “BEE”, and by criminal syndicates. Check. Its debt is not self-standing because most of it is guaranteed by the SA government. Check. The lion’s share of that debt was raised by Eskom selling bonds into global markets – and the international investors who own it, want action. Check.


After mentioning the forthcoming interview with KW Miller in this newsletter, some members of the tribe pointed me towards the “expose” on him by rightwingwatch.org linking him to QAnon and worse. Except for a brief explanation from his side, I left this alone, preferring to focus on the message rather than alleged defects of the messenger. The result is rational and mind-blowing at the same time. Have a listen – click here.

  • Have had a few notes asking why this week’s presentations have not been advertised. That’s because they are for Standard Bank clients. We have, however, managed to secure some seats to the Johannesburg event for Premium members. It’s on Thursday at 6pm and I will be covering Politics vs Economics in light of the 2024 national elections and the potential for a coalition led government. Please email [email protected] to book a spot. Unfortunately both Cape Town and Durban are fully booked. 
  • As mentioned a few times in recent newsletters, our partnership with The Wall Street Journal ended yesterday. As a result, access to WSJ.com is no longer included as part of your membership of BizNews Premium.

More for you to read today: 

The BizNews Premium Podcast

Premium Briefing Ep 7 – Making sense of the markets with Alec Hogg – how much worse can it get after the tech stock wipeout? And the bargain hunter’s guide to the JSE.

Winning both ways – 36ONE’s Cy Jacobs on the genius of Hedge Funds for retail investors
When co-founding 36ONE almost two decades ago, top SA money manager Cy Jacobs used the opportunity to launch a long/short hedge fund. Initially only for big clients, this massive outperformer was made available to retail investors six years ago. In this interview with Alec Hogg of BizNews, Jacobs explains how a classic hedge funds enjoy major risk and reward advantages over traditional unit trusts – and shares his latest perspectives on which parts of the investment markets are most likely to deliver superior returns. 


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