The state of South Africa’s electricity system and the power of podcasting

Attendees at the most recent meeting of the Johannesburg Chapter of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA), held on 18 July at HB Connect in Sandton, were treated to two interesting, insightful presentations. The evening began with a welcome by Chapter President Ian Bratt, who conducted a table session, where people shared their favourite off-the-beaten track holiday destinations in South Africa with each other. His son, Michael Bratt, who serves as the Chapter’s Deputy President, then took over proceedings. The well-attended meeting played host to two fascinating keynote speakers. First up was Chris Yelland, founder and managing director of EE Publishers. He provided an in-depth history of the electricity situation in South Africa, a topic which he is intimately familiar with having researched and covered it for over 22 years. He painted a gloomy picture, highlighting that Eskom is broken on a financial, operational and environmental level, with his ultimate message being that the system has to fundamentally change otherwise it will only get worse. Eskom has to be restructured and independent power producers need to be given the freedom to make greater contributions. The second keynote speaker of the evening was Gareth Cliff, co-founder and co-CEO of online radio platform CliffCentral. His talk, ‘The Power of Podcasting’ explained more about what this emerging media type is all about, and how people can be utilising it to enhance their careers and their brands. What he describes as the only remaining option for long-form narratives to truly be effective, podcasts are growing in demand because they attract a niche audience who becomes invested in the niche topics which are being discussed. Their on-demand format is also appealing, as people can choose when, where and how to listen to them. The PSASA is the home of speakers in Southern Africa, from professional speakers and trainers to facilitators and coaches. The organisation offers many opportunities to build a professional speaking network, learn from colleagues in the industry, connect with international speaking colleagues, and build a speaking business. The next meeting of the Johannesburg chapter of the PSASA is taking place on 29 August 2019, 18:00 for 18:30, at HB Connect in Sandton. For more information, contact Michael Bratt on [email protected].