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    City Power embarks on programme to update smart meters or replace old meters

    January 24, 2023 - Chulumanco Mahamba


      Johannesburg - The current prepaid electricity voucher system will run out of voucher sequences for the unique tokens produced for each meter by November 24.

      The City of Joburg Environment and Infrastructure Services Department (EISD) said the token identifier (TID) system is a security measure that ensures that a token can only be used once and for the meter number it was purchased.

      According to the department, this means that prepaid electricity tokens purchased after this date will not be recognised by the current prepaid meters installed in 1993.

      In an effort to resolve this system issue, power utility City Power will embark on a programme to upgrade smart meters or replace older meters.

      “This is a system-linked limitation and not unexpected; however, with the recent articles published in the media, it has caused quite a panic in the public space. We certainly do not want to scramble at the last minute and want to ensure that prepaid electricity customers continue to receive services when the new system kicks in towards the end of 2024,” said MMC Michael Sun.

      The EISD said the current Standard Transfer Specification (STS) system has been in place since 1993 and will stop dispensing voucher sequences on November 24, 2024. The STS provides the facility of generating tokens that can only be used by the intended meter and, in the case of credit tokens, can only be used once in that meter.

      “When the time comes, the prepaid meters will stop accepting new credit tokens and will then stop dispensing electricity after the existing credits are used up,” said Sun.

      He added that any tokens generated after this date and utilising the 24-digit number will be rejected by the meters as being old tokens.

      “I urge customers with the affected meters in Johannesburg to cooperate with the City Power officials when they arrive on your premises to upgrade or replace your meters,” said MMC Sun.

      City Power has further urged residents to always ask City Power technicians to show them their appointment cards.

      The way to identify a City Power official is through their staff card, which will have the name of the official, the ID number of the official, the department where the official is from, and an expiry date written on a colour-coded strip (blue for permanent employees, green for meter readers, purple for contractors, red for cut off teams, and black for interns or temporary staff).

      The power utility added that on the back of the card there is a hologram of City Power’s Firefly logo and the contact numbers for the Risk Team should you want to verify the staff member’s ID number.

      The Star


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