Johannesburg - South Africa needs to spend R35 billion to maintain neglected distribution networks, or risk further backlogs, the Free Market Foundation warned on Tuesday.
“We're in a serious situation,” the lobby group's spokesman Eustace Davie told reporters in Johannesburg.
Electricity was used by local governments to cross-subsidise other goods, he explained. In addition, a decade-long attempt to restructure distribution meant municipalities had no incentive to invest in electricity infrastructure when they might not benefit.
As a result, spending on the grid itself had been neglected. Davie recommended municipalities should either contract out the maintenance, or sell off the grid.