Prepaid meters leads to decline in illegal electricity connections in Joburg

04 May 2016 - 20:47 By Mpho Sibanyoni
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Compact fluorescent light bulbs. File photo.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs. File photo.
Image: Jeremy Glyn

The City of Joburg has seen illegal electricity connections decline by more than 10% after the installation of prepaid electricity meters in the past financial year.

This is due to the local government introducing smart meters to half of the homes in the City of Joburg.

"More than half of the City Power electricity meters deployed in the City are now smart meters.

"This has resulted in a 13% increase in meter accuracy over the last three months‚ because the smart meters can be read remotely without the need to enter a property‚" said City of Joburg executive mayor‚ councillor Parks Tau.

"This is assisting the City of Johannesburg to ensure accurate metering and reduced estimation – which means lower costs and fewer frustrations for you‚ the citizen and paying customer‚" he said.

This would come as a relief for many‚ especially when considering that Soweto owed more than R10-billion to Eskom.

Tau said City Power billing queries older than 120 days were now resolved because focus teams had been set up to deal with logged calls at the contact centre.

He said the city had also come up innovations to minimise loadshedding.

"Smart meters‚ ripple controls and additional power generation from the Kelvin power station allowed us to actively mitigate load-shedding last winter.

"Fifty-four percent of stage 1 load shedding and 15% of stage 2 load shedding was avoided in 2015 through our creativity as a City‚" he said.

He added that 99.4% of Joburg citizens had access to water‚ and 94.5% have access to basic sanitation. "Our investment has been on water networks‚ sewer networks‚ storage capacity and treatment capacity.

"We have focused on improving service to marginalised areas including Soweto‚ Ivory Park‚ Orange Farm‚ Diepsloot and Alexandra.

"The drinking water quality remained above the national standard of 99% and Joburg retained our Blue Drop Certification for the three years it was assessed‚" he said.

Tau said replacing 321 kilometres of water pipes and smart management of pressure across the system had saved over 3.1-billion litres of bulk water and reduced pipe-burst incidents by 10.6% per year.

TMG Digital/Sowetan

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