The South African supply industry is facing a significant restructuring after the government outlined a legislative bill which will combine municipal suppliers into six regional electricity distributors.

The proposed bill would be passed before the end of the year, according to government officials cited by state-owned utility company Eskom.

Once passed, the bill will require municipalities to participate in the national scheme and local authorities will have to buy electricity as a regional distributor before selling on to retail customers.

The restructuring moves will merge Eskom’s seven distribution business units and those of the 187 licensed municipal distributors to form the six regional suppliers.