New meters may be the smartest choice to fix town’s electricity woes

LYDENBURG – Smart meters may be the only solution to the ongoing Eskom debt and the prevention of another possible disconnection.

Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) confirmed that the installation of smart meters has been, and will still be, well communicated to all residents of Lydenburg/ Mashishing. Gareth Mnisi, from the finance department within the municipality, explained,

“It (the smart meters) has formed part of all stakeholder meetings wherein ward councillors have been sharing the necessary information. The costs of the installation of the new smart meter will be covered by Thaba Chweu Local Municipality. This is a mandatory requirement for all residents, and no one will be allowed any room to refuse the new device.”

Mnisi said this is an initiative which forms part of the construction of the Duma Substation, in order to ensure that all electricity distribution losses are mitigated to allow the municipality to honour the Eskom account timely and in full on a monthly basis. “The same system to purchase electricity tokens will be applicable, and therefore residents will not be affected in any way. In fact, there will be more footprint facilities which will be made available in order to enhance access to purchase.”

He shared some of the benefits the municipality would yield from the installation of the new smart meters include:

• Smart meters are tamper-free, which means residents will not be able to bridge and/or steal electricity.

• Electricity distribution losses will be minimised drastically.

• The municipality will be in a position to make a profit from the sale of the electricity commodity, which will allow reinvestment into the aged electricity infrastructure.

• The municipality will be in a position to honour the Eskom current account timely and in full on a monthly basis.

Narda Vermaak

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