There is good news and there is bad news. First the bad: electricity tariffs will rise sharply after Nersa allowed Eskom another bite at the cherry. The good news is that businesses and households will be able to generate their own electricity, meaning that not only can they ditch Eskom or at least try, they can earn money from the electricity they generate if they feed it back into the grid. But even the good news may have negative unintended consequences. City councils, which usually add a margin to the electricity tariff they charge consumers, risk losing crucial income. Theoretically, the margin should be used to maintain and extend electricity infrastructure, but it's often used for other purposes. Even if municipalities do spend it on electricity infrastructure, the demands are intense. Load-shedding earlier this year damaged some of Johannesburg's electricity infrastructure that the city had to pay to fix, and vandalism and theft mean constant replacement costs. In addition, ...

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