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Africa|Eskom|PROJECT|Service|Water
Africa|Eskom|PROJECT|Service|Water
africa|eskom|project|service|water

Eskom says key revision number rollover project on track

16th May 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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State-owned Eskom says its key revision number rollover project is progressing well, with 3.61-million, or 52%, of the 6.9-million prepayment meters already recoded as of May 15.

The main Eskom meter recording project in all nine provinces started in August 2023 after a successful pilot in Gauteng.

Since then, the utility says, it has adopted a rapid approach of ensuring customers are empowered with the necessary information and supporting channels to do it themselves.

“We continue to implore and educate our customers to embrace the do-it-yourself (DIY) process. Our teams are available to promptly assist those customers who are experiencing challenges and have logged queries with reference numbers,” says Eskom group executive for distribution Monde Bala.

Eskom adds that it has plans to sustain the rapid prepayment meter recoding process to ensure all of its prepayment electricity meters are recoded before the deadline of November 24.

These plans include auditing and fixing meters that are faulty, bypassed or not buying.

The key revision number rollover progress is monitored daily through a dashboard and customer support is provided through various simplified mechanisms.

Step-by-step guides are available on the various Eskom communication channels, including social media platforms, the Alfred Chatbot for questions and answers, and the Eskom website to enable a seamless process.

Eskom notes that the recoding of meters is done at no cost to the customer and cautions against scammers who may attempt to take advantage of the recoding process and request any form of payment for this service.

Customers are also reminded to enter all previously bought credit tokens into their meter before entering their new meter recoding tokens, considering old credit tokens will not work after the meter is recoded.

The process of buying electricity remains unchanged. Customers can still buy electricity from major banks, online platforms, fuel stations, prepaid electricity vending agents and retailers across the country, as they currently do.

To recode a meter, Eskom says customers need to get their two recode tokens from their prepaid electricity vendor when Eskom prompts that the area is being rolled over.

Thereafter, customers are, firstly, required to key in the first 20 digits of their recode token and for it to be accepted.

Secondly, customers are required to key in the second 20 digits of the recode token and for it to be accepted. Lastly, customers are required to key in the 20 digits of the bought token to recharge the meter.

MITIGATION RECOMMENDATIONS
Meanwhile, the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities of Southern Africa, the South African Local Government Association, the Southern Africa Revenue Protection Association and Eskom have also warned, in a separate statement, that there is a high risk that all prepaid meters might not be reset before November, which could have a negative impact on the cash income for that electricity or water utility.

To this end, the organisations jointly recommend and encourage that electricity and water utilities – which includes Eskom and municipalities – implement the “customer self-service” or DIY method of resetting meters.

“Through this method, the consumer is handed the set of reset tokens, together with his next credit token purchase, for resetting the meter on behalf of the said electricity or water utility, or its duly appointed agent,” they point out.

The electricity or water utility then only needs to provide help-line support to deal with exceptions and to assist customers who are experiencing problems with resetting the token identifier status on the installed meter.

“Current industry trends have confirmed that the DIY process is the quickest and most cost-effective method to execute the meter reset programme.

“In cases where consumers or customers have tampered or interfered with the meter, for whatever reason, there may be reluctance by the said meter owner or user to participate in the meter reset programme and they may generally try to prevent electricity or water utility staff from accessing the meters, which is counter-productive to the meter reset program,” the associations say.

The associations, therefore, recommend that revenue protection activities should not be performed in parallel, together with the meter reset programme, and to rather delay this until after the reset programme has been completed.

“Notwithstanding the above recommendation – which is not prescriptive – the consumer or customer can, or may, still, if they so desire, choose alternative acceptable methods to action the aforementioned risk mitigation before the said deadline of November 2024,” they note.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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