Prepaid meters on the cards for Joburg

Johannesburg residents might soon be forced to install prepaid water and electricity meters in their houses.

This comes as the city’s billing system, named Project Phakama, which was supposed to sort out problems with residents’ municipal accounts, resulted in chaos.

In a reply to questions from DA councillor Marian Kemp, Joburg Water said it planned to roll out pre-paid water meters to every household across the city.

But details as to when, how and the costs involved were not available.

City Power has the same plans, saying it had already installed pre-paid electricity meters in about 16584 households in Roodepoort, Tshepisong and Matholeville.

The city’s revenue collection has in recent months come under severe pressure as a result of the city’s inability to properly bill its customers.

The implementation of the R580-million Project Phakama, an IT system aimed at creating a single-stop invoicing centre where accounts would be centralised into one billing database, is struggling to cope.

Council spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane said the prepaid meters were one of several options being considered to distribute electricity.

“The city will study the results of the pilot project before making a decision on the future roll-out of pre-paid meters and in which regions of Johannesburg it might be feasible”.

He said a pre-paid system would help customers manage their own usage, as well as help the city to increase revenue collection.

He said the final decision on whether the systems will be rolled out, and if so, when, would be influenced by council’s future budget priorities.

DA caucus in the Joburg council, councillor Vasco Da Gama, said: “We have no problem with pre-paid meters, but it must be negotiated with communities.”

Credit to: Times Live

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Joburg billing crisis still not resolved

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3 Responses to Prepaid meters on the cards for Joburg

  1. Sueq447 says:

    I wouldn’t mind a prepaid meter at all. At the moment the meters are not read on a regular basis, so you end up getting overcharged for services. This way, the individual would be in charge of his own supply. In addition, it may prevent illegal ‘piggybacking’ on someone elses’ supply

  2. Themba says:

    I live in the south of Joburg. I converted to prepaid electricity in June 2010. I am still getting electricity estimates of about R 1 500 per month, the latest just now in December. I have been to the Jorissen Street office, waited in the queue for 3.5 hours and came away with a reference number. I have been to my local People Centre in South Hills thrice[3x] and each time the workers there were watching tv. They told me each time that they were off-line and could not help me and that I should go back to Jorissen street. I asked for their supervisor’s numbers and the number I got goes unanswered. I have also sent about five [5] emails to the Joburgconnect email address and no joy. I am angry. Now perhaps I need to get in touch with the mayor as I am told that the Mayor’s office can jumpstart things. I am not so sure anymore.

  3. Rina says:

    It is a good idea for prepaid meters. The cost last year to install R2530.80 for single phase. Ekhuraleni municipality it costs R698.00 – why the big difference? And also it took from March to December for Joburg billing system to not bill for electricity estimation!!! And how many calls to the callcentre and hours of sitting @ Braamfontein and Randburg – there is nobody who want to take responsibility in front to just fix the account. The problem just gets passed on to the next person.
    If Joburg installed prepaid meters for free all over – they will definately be in a better financial position when people pay for water and electricity in advance.

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