Sat Apr 28 20:45:14 UTC 2007
just finished a chapter on the subject for a book to be published by the
Municipal Services Project - I can't give you exact figures on reduced
consumption, but the pattern that we have seen in South Africa is that
prepaids were installed in areas where people often could not afford, or
were not being billed for, electricity. In some areas the effect was
dramatic - for instance, in Thembisa, some 70-80% of electricity used
was not being paid for. At the same time, the Apartheid system ensured
that most Black people did not have access to electricity at all, and
when they did, the infrastructure was often poor quality, with frequent
breakdowns. As a result, towards the end of Apartheid and in the
post-Apartheid period there was a mass electrification campaign - and
where new electricity was installed prepaid meters were used. Local
authorities are also significant as electricity utilities in South
Africa, and they have switched to use of prepaid meters, so that now,
even for the rich, you cannot build a new house without installing a
Since the mid 1990s, meters in South Africa all follow the STS standard,
which standardises the interface between the meter and the electricity
supplier. Customers buy electricity at a local shop (or online, or via a
cellphone), and are given a number which they have to punch into the
meter box in order to add "credits". Different tariff plans are used in
different areas of the country, and there are also various technical
schemes for how meters work (e.g. split meters, remote monitoring, etc).
This has all happened in terms of the "commodification" of basic
services, i.e. providing services on a pay-as-you-go basis.
I hope this answers your questions, please email me if you want to know
more. Do you have prepaid in Mumbai? What is your attitude towards
prepaid - positive, or negative?
Divyaunsh Divatia wrote:
> I am Divyaunsh Divatia from Mumbai, India.I read baout your comment on
> prepaid electricity market in South Africa.
> Can you give us some more info on the same as to how it works ? Its
> operational procedures etc ? Has it led to reduced consumption of
> electricity in the homes tht used it ?
> Thanks & Regards,
> Imc-ct mailing list
> Imc-ct at lists.indymedia.org
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