While the Fitch ratings review of the sovereign credit profile could always go either way, it was the ratings agency’s review of Eskom’s debt profile that was pleasantly surprising last week. As we know, Eskom is the biggest drag on SA’s finances and credit profile, so any boost to the utility’s credit rating bodes well for the country. When Fitch removed the "negative watch" on Eskom’s credit rating, it signalled its confidence in the course which the utility’s leadership is pursuing. Fitch left Eskom’s rating at BB-, which could be the start of a long journey back to investment grade status for the utility, which once enjoyed a credit rating status better than that of the country’s sovereign. Of course, the road back to investment grade is littered with numerous painful decisions that must be made. The start was the government appointing the current board, which is the best Eskom has had in a decade. It is by no means the strongest the utility has had in its life, but it’s better ...

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