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Easier ways to buy pre-paid electricity
Cape Town residents can now buy pre-paid electricity from any vendor located within the City's boundaries.

The new arrangement, which came into effect at the beginning of June 2009, has been made possible by the integration of the four separate systems inherited from previous administrations into a single unified IT platform. Previously, City of Cape Town prepaid electricity customers were only able to buy electricity from a limited number of vendors located in the vicinity of their homes and businesses.

Prepaid electricity can now be purchased at any of the 403 vending stations within the City’s jurisdiction. A complete list is available here. Electricity can also be bought on the internet at or or or via cell phones.

Prepaid meters are popular because they eliminate the need for meter readings. Prepaid customers do not receive an account, are able to see the amount of electricity they use, and have full control over their electricity account. They pay for what they use, and can therefore budget accordingly.

Electricity customers who receive monthly accounts need to supply meter readings to verify their consumption. These readings are usually taken on a monthly basis by the City’s meter readers, who undertake personal inspections. If they are not able to access a particular property, the amount consumed is then estimated. This can be problematic, as customers may then be over or undercharged, and an adjustment needs to be made once an actual reading has been taken.

Common access problems include the resident being absent at the time of the visit, vicious dogs, or refusal of entry. Meter readers are clearly identified by their dress and carry official City of Cape Town identification. Customers can supply their own reading by telephone on 0860 103 089, by fax to 0896 010 3090 or by e-mail to Customers who would like to investigate why they are repeatedly invoiced for estimated readings may call 0860 103 089.

Credit customers who wish to change to prepaid meters can apply for a retrofit at any one of the City’s 15 Electricity Service depots located throughout Cape Town. For a complete list, please click here.
Martin Pollack
© City of Cape Town, 2016