The City of Ekurhuleni is phasing out old electricity meters  and replacing them with new technologically advanced pre-payment meters in an effort to clamp down illegal electricity connections, electricity theft and meter tampering.

“The new pre-payment meters also come with great convenience to the customer as it limits consumption to the value of what the customer has loaded into the meter, allowing for better household budgeting and planning,” explains city spokesman Zweli Dlamini.

“These meters have a Customer Interphase Unit (CIU), commonly referred to as a keypad, to enable communication between the user and the meter. The keypad displays the available credit on the meter at the point it was last connected and was updated.”

So user-friendly is the new unit that it plugs in any normal socket in the house for easy access to the customer whilst the pre-payment meter is installed outside of the house.

The roll out of the pre-payment meters is done through electrical meter management contractors who are allocated to specific areas.

The contractors will not only install the pre-payment meter but will also ensure the meters are operational and educate the customer on the basic functions of the keypad and how to reload the meter.

The complete process to change a swap the meters takes between 30 and 60 minutes. During this time there will not be electricity. However, as soon as the process has been completed the electricity will be immediately restored. The meter comes with 40 units pre-loaded which will be debited with the first purchase of electricity.

“There is no difference between the approved rates for a conventional or pre-payment meter. Both meters are also calibrated to exactly the same SANS specification,” explains Dlamini.

All conventional meters will be replaced. Should a customer find it inconvenient to replace the meter when the contractor on site, the customer can propose a different date, within office hours within 7 days of the initial contact, and the team will come and replace the meter.

If a customer refuses the contractor to do the replacement after adequate opportunity is given, the electricity supply will be disconnected and a notice, according to the city’s approved Schedule of Tariffs will be issued.

For the safety of customers, the contractors have been given appointment letters to handover to show to the customers at the point of contact outlining the purpose for the visit and outlining the project.

Customers can call the following numbers to verify identity of contactors:

  • ZRW Mechanica, – 0 10 449-3645 for Edenvale, Kempton Park, Thembisa;
  • Enyane Solutions – 011 873-4042 for Benoni, Brakpan, Nigel, Springs; and
  • EMC Associates – 010 023-3411 for Alberton, Boksburg, Germiston.