Tshwane property owners to have their say on prepaid meters

Residents in the Tshwane metro area will have an opportunity this weekend to have their say on the proposed roll out of prepaid meters to households, particularly rental properties.

A number of property administrators have already taken the initiative and asked their clients for permission to apply for prepaid meters on their behalf following a council decision earlier this year that rental properties have prepaid meters in a bid to curb rising municipal debt.

The metro has arranged a series of public meetings for Saturday to give residents and other stakeholders an opportunity to comment.

Meetings will start at 9am at the Centurion Council Chamber; Bronkhorstspruit Sports Centre; Refilwe Community Hall (Cullinan); Mabopane Skills Centre; Makgoba Sebothoma Community Hall (Temba, Hammanskraal); Sammy Marks Hall and Mamelodi West Community Hall.

At its monthly meeting in April, the metro council announced that it was looking at passing a by-law compelling every household to have prepaid meters.

At the time executive mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa said that the debt for water, electricity and rubbish removal stood at R3,6 billion, and that the installation of the meters would alleviate the problem.

The council agreed that all accounts exceeding R3 000 over 60 days be changed to prepaid meters; that prepaid meters be compulsory for new electricity accounts for rented premises and residential dwellings with high tenant turnover. All accounts where a tenant's premises cannot be accessed for more than two months should be placed on the prepaid meter system.

Tenders for meter installation have been invited with five service providers, and a third-party vendor tender is in place for three years for the extended re-selling of electricity at merchants, including petrol stations and spaza shops.

(Pretoria News)

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