Electricity meter changes in South Africa – what you need to know


The software for all prepaid electricity meters in South Africa will expire in 2024. Prepaid metering software must be updated, otherwise customers will not be able to top up their meters with new tokens; and run out of power, the city of Cape Town warns.

The city would like to remind residents that officials from the Electricity Generation and Distribution Department are on standby to help residents upgrade their prepaid meter software. So far, more than 21 areas in the metro have been reached and about 170,000 prepaid meters have been updated,” a statement said on Thursday (Aug. 4).

The city has 570,000 prepaid meters.

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In August 2021, energy company Eskom announced that its prepaid meter software needs to be updated nationally as it expires in 2024. The first phase of the upgrade project began in Gauteng on September 1, followed by other provinces.

The city said it is currently working through several areas as part of a phased approach to update these meters. Area by area is being earmarked for renewal, it said. “Customers in a certain area will receive two update codes in due time with their purchase. If the city has not reached an area and customers have not received the update codes with their electricity purchase, they are not yet ready for the update.”

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The city said that when making a purchase, customers will receive two 20-digit update codes along with their usual prepaid token. “Customers who do not live in the area currently earmarked for updates are not yet eligible to update their meters and will only receive update codes automatically with their regular purchase in due time.”

Update codes are issued in phases with purchases in metro areas in accordance with the area schedule. The city said that updates to the software will not affect the user’s electricity consumption in any way as it will not affect the meter’s calibration.

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Customers can follow these simple steps to enter the update codes when their area is scheduled for the update:

1. Enter the first 20 digit update code and wait for it to be accepted.

2. Enter the second 20 digit update code and wait for it to be accepted.

3. Enter the usual 20 digit token to charge units as normal.

Most customers prefer to update their own meters. Those in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the city at:

SMS: 31220

· E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: Call Center: 0860 103 089

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