‘Most prepaid metre users in SA short-changed’

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Energy analyst Tshepo Kgadima says most users of prepaid metres in South Africa are being short-changed because most meters not calibrated to South African measuring standards. It has emerged that some electricity metres require a software update before the end of November next year, and if they are not updated, they will stop accepting new prepaid credit tokens.

There are about 70 million prepaid meters in 100 countries. Ten million of them are in South Africa.

Kgadima says the measuring by these meters can be inaccurate.

“The problem that not only Eskom faces, which is also faced by the municipalities, is the fact that the majority of the meters that they have, if not all, have not been calibrated in accordance with the South African National Accreditation Systems,” says Kgadima.

“That in turn means that you have got a problem of the accuracy of measuring either the electricity, or the water that flows there, depending on whichever the utility is.”

Kgadima says as a result, users are “disenfranchised” describing the measurements by metres as mere “guess work”.

Meanwhile, Eskom earlier announced that it has downgraded its rolling blackouts from Stage 6 to 3 with effect from 5 o’clock on Saturday morning to 4 o’clock this afternoon. The power utility says this is due to lower demand this weekend.

Stage 5 rolling blackouts will be implemented until 5 am o’clock on Sunday morning.

However, Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena has warned that stage six is likely to return next week.

“Breakdowns are currently at 18 713 MW of generating capacity while the generating capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 3 222MW.”

Minister Ramokgopa’s Executive Statement on Energy Action Plan & Rolling Blackouts

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