Big changes for prepaid electricity in Joburg

 ·28 Mar 2023

The City of Joburg has launched its programme to replace obsolete, faulty and bypassed prepaid electricity meters across the city.

The area’s power distributor City Power said that it is embarking on a programme to replace these meters – at no cost – as part of the token identifiers (TID) rollover project.

The token identifier system for meters guarantees security by ensuring that a token can only be used once and is valid only for the specific meter it was purchased for.

City Power’s spokesperson Isaac Mangena said that the TID compliance resetting project would ensure that meters are not locked out come November 2024, when the digits for recharging tokens will run out.

“For now, the process will be free, but in the future, City Power will disconnect any customer found to have tampered with the newly installed meters or refused to reset the meter for TID compliance,” said the City of Joburg.

Customers would be charged a reconnection fee as well as a recovery for the period of the loss, it added.

Work is set to start in these areas until 30 June:

  • Naturena
  • Ormonde View
  • Ormonde
  • Randburg

All seven regions of Johannesburg will be audited and have their meters normalised periodically in the coming months.

“The programme will assist City Power to clean up its data, ensure unmetered customers, especially in non-affluent areas, have smart meters, which will enable them to buy electricity and assist City Power to monitor and control the load as we battle with load shedding,” said Mangena.

The City of Joburg is changing metering alongside the City of Tshwane as part of an R1.2 billion plan from the Gauteng provincial government.

The R1.2 billion is expected to fund efforts to curtail the country’s dire energy crisis, with portions going toward rooftop solar development, the new metering systems and more.

Little detail regarding the new smart metering system and how energy use will be tracked has been given; however, the City of Joburg and the City of Tshwane have both previously expressed their intent to make smart metering the norm, with the latter planning on moving all customers to prepaid meters.

Who to let in on your property

The city has asked residents to work with officials during meter updates or upgrades; however, it has also advised residents to verify proof of appointment to confirm the authenticity of the officials.

To combat any sort of misconduct from malicious actors, City Power noted that contractors that aim to revamp meters would have a valid card with the following details:

  • A card bearer’s name and surname
  • A card bearer’s ID photo
  • An expiry date (if the card has already expired, that bearer is not authorised to work on the City Power network)
  • The name of the company contracted to the City Power
  • No contractor can work with another person’s ID card
  • Green ID cards are for meter readers, and turquoise cards are for meter maintenance or installation
For more information, contact the City Power contact centre on 0860 56 2874 (select option 2).

Read: Crackdown on businesses with ‘hidden’ owners in South Africa

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter