Council of the Mkhondo Municipality has approved the installation of smart meters in Mkhondo to overcome problems of inaccurate billing, loss of revenue and to secure the financial position of the Municipality.
“A smart meter is an advanced type of digital electricity meter that records when and how much, electricity is consumed and deducts the amount consumed from a prepaid balance loaded by you.” It allows you to view your usage and automatically sends accurate data to the local municipality. This makes the need for electricity bills and manual reading (or estimated readings) unnecessary. Meter tampering is also detected remotely and action can be taken timeously. Ideal Prepaid (the contract owner) is a funded solution for Mkhondo’s Smart Meter project. They do two million transactions per day, worldwide. Currently they are assisting nine other municipalities physically with the installation of these meters. Their main focus being revenue enhancement and secondly, skills transfer. After the project has been completed each installer (semiskilled and skilled electricians) will receive a certificate. The company intends saving the Mkhondo Municipality money as there will be no debt collecting.
Each meter is actually a computer in your home and tampering with the meter or arrears is immediately picked up. Apparently cost for the meter and the installation thereof is carried by the Municipality. There are many benefits for both the Municipality and the consumer and buying electricity will be much easier and the whole process simplified with more options of buying for the consumer. The first smart meter was installed in the house of the honourable mayor, Councillor B. H. Mtshali, on Monday, 8 February 2016. Other officials’ houses will be targeted next and then the process will be continued starting on the southern side of town, in Kempville and surrounding areas. The whole project is estimated to take 11 months to complete. According to the Municipal Manager, Mr M.M. Mabuza, all services currently billed, including water and rates, will eventually be carried over to the new system. Current credit balances on prepaid meters will be credited and arrangements for arrears on conventional accounts will have to be made. Mkhondo residents, let us all stand together and try to assist wherever we can and to cooperate in all possible ways in order to make this a successful project.