Tshwane ratepayers will not be cut off from the electricity supply next year. The city, in partnership with Eskom, is actively working to guarantee that ratepayers will not face disconnection from the electricity supply network after November 2024.
The prepaid metering software system shared by the two entities responsible for creating credit tokens for prepaid electricity meters faces depletion of unique code numbers.
Globally, meters require reconditioning before November 24 next year, as the old systems are rendered obsolete by a new token-generating system.
This updated system will not function with non-upgraded meters, which would impact electricity distribution to approximately 70 million customers.
Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for Tshwane, explained that the city aims to initiate the Token Identifier (TID) rollover by November. The plan entails updating the vending system and security modules responsible for generating tokens in November and beginning phases 1 and 2 of the TID rollout to ratepayers by December 4.
Phase 1 will introduce the issuing of TID codes to customers when they purchase tokens. A hotline for customer assistance will also be established in case of any challenges.
Phase 2 will run concurrently with Phase 1 and focus on replacing meters with new ones that comply with standard transfer specification-2. This phase will require physical visits to properties.
Bokaba emphasised that a dedicated customer care contact centre would complement the DIY approach to provide support for technical issues.
The city is taking steps to cut the cost of purchasing additional new meters and ensure compliance. It has budgeted for an estimated amount of R1,100 per meter. During the previous fiscal year, the city also upgraded servers in preparation for the TID rollover.
Gauteng Eskom spokesperson Amanda Qithi stated that Eskom has already covered over 14 communities in Tshwane, offering a seamless DIY meter recording method to meet the 2024 deadline. The rollover project will aim to record approximately 6.8 million Eskom prepaid electricity meters before the deadline.
Phase 1, completed by September 2023, was dedicated to resolving glitches and teething problems in the rollover process. Velaphi Ntuli, Eskom’s general manager of operations enablement, assured that all efforts were directed towards a successful project delivery.
The Eskom DIY approach is cost-effective and involves issuing customers with key change tokens when they purchase their normal top-up prepaid electricity. All pre-purchased tokens should be loaded into the meter before initiating the recording process. Portia Papu, Eskom’s senior manager, highlighted that the recoding of meters would be free to customers and cautioned against potential scammers requesting payments for this service.
The process of buying electricity will remain unchanged, allowing customers to purchase electricity from major banks, online platforms, fuel-filling stations, prepaid electricity vending agents, and retailers across the country.
The Eskom Key Revision Number (KRN) rollover is underway. Visit our website for more details. https://t.co/kNlOqXieEe
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) October 25, 2023
Picture: X / ChronicleComaro
Follow us on Google News.