Residents of the Emfuleni Local Municipality owe R3 billion in unpaid basic services. To increase and reduce water and electricity loss and theft, the municipality is now introducing smart meters for water and electricity in the course of the year.
Emfuleni Local Municipality's executive mayor Greta Hlongwane and the municipal manager Sam Shabalala announced a public private partnership with Beijing Fuxing Xiaocheng electronic stock company in rolling out the R1 billion rand project on the 6th December 2013 at a media conference held in municipal manager's office, where the two parties signed the agreement.
ELM has been incurring material revenue losses in their provision of both water and electricity services due to poor revenue recovery and sub-optimal loss management. This smart meter system aims to assist the ELM to reduce its water and electricity revenue losses substantially, by providing direct access to metering data, detection of meter tempering, provision of a prepayment and or credit mode functionality, providing information on system outages and facilitate reduction of load.
In introducing the project, Hlongwane said the project is one of the few highlights she raised when she took over as the executive mayor. “Our residents know about this project and this is a dream come true for me because these smart- meters will put an end to this estimated billing. They will help consumers (rates payers) to monitor and regulate their own accounts payments”, she said
Emfuleni Local Municipality has not provided funding for the procurement of the smart meter system and the successful bidder was required to finance the smart meter system procured by the municipality. The municipality would then pay for the smart meter system through the proven additional cash flow realized through successfully and effectively deploying the smart meter system.
“This smart meter system project aims to provide metering, billing information and revenue management to the electricity and water operating cycles at the ELM”, explains Shabalala.
The smart meter system is a project that will be paid for, based on the performance of the smart meter system. The system must demonstrate that it is effective through optimising the financial performance of both the water and electricity operational cycles, resulting in optimised User Payment collections and a reduction in the bulk purchase costs of both electricity and water.
The Executive Mayor urged employed residents of Emfuleni Local Municipality to pay for services as it is impossible for all residents to be impoverish and register as indigents
The technology stock company's chairman, Yi Chang, and his colleagues from the company based in South Africa and Ghana were present to attach signatures to the agreement. The new deal will see smart meters installed in Sebokeng, Evaton, Three Rivers, Boipatong, Bophelong, Sharpeville, Roshnee, Rustervaal and other surrounding areas in the Emfuleni Local Municipality.
By Stanley Gaba