ALL houses in the Cape Metropole will eventually be fitted with pre-payment electricity meters if the Council of the City of Cape Town accepts the policy proposed by the City's Portfolio Committee for Trading Services.
Mike Marsden, Executive Director for Trading Services, told the Portfolio Committee that approximately 300 000 meters have already been installed. This represented nearly 60% of the electricity consumers of the Metropole.
"The growing number of pre-paid meter installations in the City has been instrumental in greatly reducing the arrears on electricity accounts," he says.
All new electricity connections in the City will in future be equipped with a split-type pre-payment meter. This meter consists of two parts: a consumer interface unit which allows the user to check the meter and enter credit, and a base containing the measuring electronics, which is placed in a kiosk outside the house.
"This type of pre-payment equipment is less prone to tampering and has proved very successful elsewhere," Marsden says.
Councillor David Erleigh, Executive Committee Member for Trading Services, said the success of the electrification of informal settlements was partly due to the installation of pre-payment meters. "The success of pre-paid meters applies not only to informal areas, but also to formal areas," says Councillor Erleigh who reported using a pre-paid meter at his own home. "It is expected that another 18 000 meters will be installed in the City this year," he says.