The City of Johannesburg has two multibillion-rand hurdles to jump if it is to take over the electricity distribution network from Eskom: it will have to pay the power utility R7.5bn to cover outstanding consumer debt and R4bn to take ownership of distribution infrastructure.

Newly installed executive mayor Mpho Moerane said in his inaugural remarks that the city planned to take over distribution from Eskom, which has run into deep conflict with township communities due to unpaid bills and illegal connections...

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