Changes to electricity meters in South Africa – what you should know

The software for all prepaid electricity meters in South Africa will expire in 2024. Prepaid metering software must be updated or customers won’t be able to recharge their meters with new tokens; and will be left without power supply, cautions the City of Cape Town.

‘The City would like to remind residents that officials in the Electricity Generation and Distribution Department are on standby to assist residents with their prepaid meter software upgrade. Thus far, more than 21 areas in the metro have been reached and approximately 170,000 prepaid meters have been updated,” it said in a statement on Thursday (4 August).

The city has 570,000 pre-paid meters.

In August 2021,  power utility Eskom announced that prepaid meter software would need to be updated nationally as it is set to expire in 2024. The initial phase of the upgrade project began in Gauteng on 1 September, with other provinces following.

The city said it is currently working through various areas as part of a phased approach to update these meters. Area by area is being earmarked for updating, it said. “Customers in a specific area will receive two update codes with their purchase when their time comes. If the City has not reached an area, and customers have not received the update codes with their electricity purchase, they are not yet due for the update.”

The city said that when making a purchase, customers will receive two 20-digit update codes along with their usual prepaid token. “Customers who do not live in the area that is currently earmarked for updating will not be eligible to update their meters yet and will not automatically receive update codes with their normal purchase until their time comes.”

Update codes will be issued with purchases in areas across the metro in phases in accordance with the area schedule. The city said that updates to the software will not affect the user’s electricity usage in any way as it does not affect the meter’s calibration.

Customers can follow these easy steps to enter the update codes when their area is scheduled for the update:

1. Enter the first 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.

2. Enter the second 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.

3. Enter the usual 20-digit token to recharge units as normal.

Most customers prefer updating their own meters. Those who require assistance are encouraged to contact the City by:

· SMS: 31220

· Email: [email protected]

· Phone: Call Centre: 0860 103 089


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Changes to electricity meters in South Africa – what you should know