South Africa Law
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Unfortunately this is a very contentious issue in many municipalities since the old Electricity act was repealed. The are unclear definitions as to what constitutes electricity reselling and whether and under what circumstances the resale of electricity is permitted constitutionally and in terms of national legislation, the Electricity Regulation Act in particular. Ultimately it has landed in the ambit of local authorities that are delegated authority to issue by-laws in this regard. The by-laws differ in places but most of the larger authorities have adopted a similar version of a reseller tariff clause that states broadly that a reseller may not resell electricity at a rate and under conditions that are less favorable to the purchaser than those that would have been payable and applicable had the purchaser been supplied directly with electricity by the local authority or electricity regulator.
What this means is that as long as there is a difference in tariffs between wholesale and retail users, the wholesale resellers will be able to make a margin. The margin would be reasonably justifiable in legal terms due to the significant payment risk and administration charges incured by the wholesaler and not by the local authority.
Probably not the answer that you looking for, and I do understand that often the margin received is not in relation to the cost and credit risk accepted by the reseller, but equally I have seen clients with unpaid tenant utility costs that they will never make up with a reseller's margin within contemporary times.
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