The City of Tshwane’s daily payment to its erstwhile electricity smart meters contractor Peu Capital Partners has been drastically reduced from R4million to R1.8m.
In addition, MMC for utility services Abel Tau said the municipality has covered ground towards the replacement of the almost 13 000 meters that had already been installed as part of the deal.
The replacement of the meters comes after AfriBusiness succeeded in having the Peu irregular smart meter contract set aside in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria.
But Tau said the reduction of daily payments to Peu was the essence of what the City wanted residents to know about.
“We have made a decision that would save the City a huge amount of money to ensure that we can take those savings and redirect them to service delivery,” he said.
Regarding the sum of R4m previously paid to Peu, he said: “I checked last week and the amount has drastically dropped. I think we were at R1.8m”
He said the City was making inroads in terms of replacing the Peu meters. It had replaced more than 5100 for small power users, leaving only 1200.
The meters in some households could not be replaced because their owners were not at home, while others had refused to have them replaced.
Tau said that from July 1, residents should know that Peu meters information stored on the saver might be lost. “It is important to move them over to the new system so that we may continue to deliver service to them,” he added.
There had been complaints that the new meters were not adequate, allowing users to buy only up to R1000 electricity at the time.
However, Tau said: “For the big power users I think we have changed over 2000 meters (with) not a single complaint.”
He said the bulk of complaints came from households.
“If you look at the contingent of over 10000 meters and we only have 20 complaints, that should tell you that we are doing quite well,” he said.
On March 1, when the City started with the replacement, it was not ready for the process, he said.
“There were a number of things that were challenges, like the software, not interfacing with what we had at the time.”
Previously the buyer could only buy electricity at the working centres, but now they can purchase it everywhere.
“Once we have rolled out the software completely the residents will realize that the meters they have now are actually smarter than what they thought,” Tau said.
“We are looking at vision 2030 to become a smart City.
“The plan is to roll out the smart meters to the rest of the residents,” Tau added.
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