A payment of R950 million to Peu Capital Partners by the Tshwane metro was temporarily halted by the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.
The decision by the court followed a successful urgent application by the civil rights organisation AfriForum, which argued the municipality had tried to “sneak through” the massive payment to Peu with the knowledge that the ill-fated contract for the city’s smart pre-paid electricity was not above board.
The court made an interim order preventing the payment of amounts totalling R950 million to Peu, giving the Tshwane metro until 5 July to give reasons why the order should not be made permanent.
AfriSake, a division of AfriForum, filed the urgent application after it learnt that the metro was about to pay over the money.
The controversial multi-billion rand contract between the metro and Peu was cancelled in May last year, after the deal had been found to be irregular.
National government had warned Tshwane on several occasions not to enter into the contract, saying it was, among other reasons, too expensive.
The metro however, concluded the contract with Peu and smart electricity meters were rolled out in the city.
During the 2014/15 financial year, Peu was paid some R830 million despite only 12 900 smart meters had been installed – a per meter price of R64 341.08!
Illegal connections overloaded the electricity grid causing power outages across parts of Johannesburg last week, Eskom said.
Eskom said communities should “refrain from connecting themselves illegally, to use electricity sparingly and stop buying electricity from ghost vendors”.
“The intermittent power interruptions experienced this week, particularly in Soweto, Emfuleni, Katlehong, Bophelong, Kagiso and Cosmo City, have now been restored,” it said in a statement.
“The power outages were caused by overloading of the network because of illegal connections and some network related faults.”
Soweto has approximately 180 000 customers, 80% of whom are on a conventionally billed metering system and the remainder are on a prepaid metering system.
The plan is to convert all customers to split prepaid meters within five years. Eskom will waive Soweto residents’ debt repayments (which total around R4bn) as an incentive to convert to prepaid meters.
Eskom said it has installed over 40 000 split prepaid meters and converted over 13 000 to prepaid mode.
It said its teams worked “tirelessly over the past few days to restore power to the affected areas”.
While Eskom said it did not anticipate any load shedding “this winter and beyond”, it appealed to customers to reduce their electricity consumption especially during peak periods (6am and 8am, 5pm and 8pm) in order to ease pressure on the power system.
Most people rely on estimated bills, or have to peer into a dusty cupboard under the stairs to give an occasional reading – and that’s before we try to fathom out the foreign language of kilowatt hours and therms.
But change is finally coming. The energy sector is set to be revolutionised, as other markets have been through the impact of digital technology. A vital part of that transformation is the national roll-out of smart meters.
Smart meters are coming to every home and micro-business in Scotland by 2020, to replace old gas and electricity meters with digital technology. They’ll be installed at no additional cost by energy suppliers and they’ll allow customers to take control of their energy use by showing what is being spent on gas and electricity in pounds and pence, in near real-time. Smart meters mean accurate bills and no more estimates, as meter readings are sent directly to the provider via a secure, dedicated network.
In Scotland, in particular, the wider benefits will be significant. Smart meters are more than just a handy device; they will become essential enabling tools for tackling some of the biggest challenges that Scotland faces. ….
The Jos Electricity Distribution Company has commenced distribution and installation of 120,000 prepaid meters in its four franchise states of Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe and Benue.
Daily Trust reports that distribution of prepaid meters are presently on-going around Jos North, Jos South and other parts of Plateau State.
JED Managing Director, Mohammed Gidado Modibbo had during the launch of the prepaid meters and transformers earlier this week said the company also plans to distribute 180,000 prepaid meters before the end of 2016….
Kimberley – The Sol Plaatje Municipality has opened a criminal case after an elderly couple in New Park were conned into spending hundreds of rands on buying a prepaid electricity meter in what appears to be the latest scam to hit the city.
Jeanette and Robert Horowitz, said that they had been fooled into handing over money to a very presentable man who claimed to be installing electricity meters on behalf of the municipality.
“Earlier this week, I received a call from a very well-spoken lady who said she was from the Northern Cape Municipality’s head office in Johannesburg,” Jeanette said.
“She was extremely friendly and knew quite a bit of personal information about us.
“After a few days, we were visited by a well-dressed and very presentable man who said that he had come to explain how the new meter system would work. He also explained to us that, as pensioners, we would receive a rebate.”
Jeanette said that the amount of personal information that the suspect had about them had caught them off guard and that they only realised that they had been scammed once it was too late.
“He seemed to have a great deal of information about us,” she said. “He even knew how much our municipal accounts had been for the last three months.
“He told us that the meter would cost us R1 800, with an additional R550 installation fee, and added that they also had another product, similar to a generator, which provides electricity during load shedding. This device cost R4 000 and I told him that as pensioners, we just do not have that kind of money.
“We asked how payment for the meter would work and were told to give him a portion of the money and the rest could be paid off.”….