South Africa: Sasol Saga Is a Lesson for Corporate South Africa

In truth, SA is but a novice when it comes to the allure of the international financial world.

The Sasol story is yet another example of a corporate empire believing the hype stirred by an investment community that had pushed its previous chief executive (in this case, David Constable) along with the board to make what was ultimately a bad investment. There are many such tales where the pursuit of growth with the promise of super rewards for executives takes precedence when projects or mergers are considered.

This is especially true when these transformational deals occur at the top of cycles, missing the old investment adage that the time to buy is when prices are low and the time to sell is when they are high.

It’s a lesson for corporate South Africa. In truth, SA is still but a novice when it comes to the allure of the international financial world, having been reintroduced to its allure over the past two decades. The harshest lessons began at the peak of the Chinese super-commodity cycle. Remember that?

At that point, some of the world’s most prominent investors, who had never quite followed the world of resources, and the companies that…

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