Question NW3196 to the Minister of Public Enterprises

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23 November 2023 - NW3196

Profile picture: Cachalia, Mr G K

Cachalia, Mr G K to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises

Whether reference to Eskom’s plans to update more that 6,6 million prepaid electricity meters before they expire in November 2024 (details furnished), what measures has Eskom put in place to ensure that all electricity meters will be updated by the date of their expiry? (2) Considering that numbers punched into the electricity meters to top up electricity will no longer register after the expiry date of the electricity meters, but will instead lock the device and render it inactive for a certain period, and in view of the fact that Eskom has thus far only managed to update 5 800 of the electricity meters, 0,087% of the total number of electricity meters in the Republic, how does Eskom plan to assist users who are unable to update electricity meters by themselves?


According to Information Received from Eskom:

1. As at end September 2023, Eskom had over 6,6 million meters that required recoding with a new Key Revision Number (KRN). A strategy was developed with the following deployment components:

  • The do-it-yourself (DIY) approach which ensures that customers are (i) issued with a pair of KRN key change tokens at the time when the customer purchases their normal top-up electricity or (ii) collects free basic electricity via any of the Eskom-approved vending channels and outlets.
  • Customer support through a comprehensive communication campaign using regional radio live reads, community print and radio notices, radio interviews, newspaper and radio articles, leaflets, posters, Facebook, X posts, YouTube videos, community forums, customer communiques and the Eskom chatbot.

2. The 5 800 meters that were rolled out were part of a pilot programme for Eskom to gather information and insights on how to best implement the project. Following the pilot, Eskom developed, the automatic update process and prepared for project implementation. As a result, Eskom recently completed the first phase of deployment which ran from August 2023 to September 2023 to clear all the initial teething issues. Based on the results of this roll-out phase, Eskom is confident that the project will be successfully implemented. Key change tokens issued during the first phase are 671 653, and this is additional to the 5 800 that were issued during the pilot phase.

Eskom has developed pamphlets on how to recode (step-by-step- guides) the meter in all official languages and also posted step-by-step guides on social media platforms. Furthermore, Eskom personnel are deployed in areas where the roll-out is taking place to assist with queries, and a dedicated queue has been created to direct customers with KRN-related queries at the contact centre. The number to be used is 0860 037 566. Frequently asked questions have been loaded on the Eskom Alfred Chatbot. In addition, Eskom has ensured that additional personnel are trained to assist customers with queries.

Remarks: Approved / Not Approved

Jacky Molisane PJ Gordhan, MP

Acting Director-General Minister

Date: Date:

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