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Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Prepaid meters for Tshwane

The City of Tshwane has started its rollout of a R7 billion project which will see consumers switch to smart prepaid meters over the next two years.

This is part of the metro's security of revenue project which will see the installation of 800 000 prepaid smart meters in every household, business and public building at no cost to the consumer.

The project was launched in April and aims to assist consumers with accurate consumption figures and save the city more than R5bn in billing, administration and debt collection fees.

First in line for the new meters are large-scale energy consumers who use more than 100 amps a month.

Household consumers can expect the meters, in phases, from January.

The metro has promised no increases in electricity costs. 'People will be able to control their electricity consumption,' said city manager Jason Ngobeni.

Consumers can control the amounts they spend on electricity each month because they can choose how many units to upload.

The City of Tshwane will collect revenue upfront, improving the city's liquidity and reducing arrears owed. A staggering R6bn was owed to the city in June.

Chief financial officer Andile Dyakala said the city, on average, received payments 131 days after issuing bills.

'We have to pay Eskom 15 days after buying electricity, but we wait much longer to receive money from consumers.'

Executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the new metering system would improve the flow of money to the city.

'We can bank on money received upfront from consumers and use it to improve social infrastructure,' he said.

Ramokgopa said the new system would increase job opportunities in the city. The factory producing the meters will have to be in Tshwane to benefit city job seekers.

At an information session for the first batch of Tshepo 10 000 candidates on Tuesday, Ramokgopa said the trainees could find opportunities in this new project to start and grow business ventures.

'The opportunities for jobs are available immediately,' he said.

Ramokgopa will be among the first to have a meter installed in his home this month.

Pretoria News


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