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Electricity & water crises: Black-out of pre-paid meters looms

Customers who need assistance with the TID Rollover may phone the George Municipality on 044 801 9222 or Ontec on 044 873 5474 for verification, for response to queries OR to request that their software be addressed.

Issued by George Municipality on behalf of:

Mireille Wenger, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
Release: Immediate
Date: 7 April 2024

Electricity & water crises: Black-out of pre-paid meters looms
Municipalities across South Africa are in a race against time to enable residents to update prepaid electricity and water meters before they stop working on 24 November 2024, just 8 months away. The update is urgently required because the standard system that provides unique re-charge codes will soon run out of unique numbers to issue. A ‘reset’ code for each pre-paid meter is therefore essential to ensure that residents can continue to receive unique codes beyond 24 November 2024.
Failure to complete the reset will leave residents unable to buy electricity and municipalities unable to generate revenue from the sale of prepaid electricity or water.

“Households, businesses, and communities across the country face being completely cut off from electricity and water if they don’t update their pre-paid meters. The black-out is looming unless pre-paid users reset their meters, using a unique code, which will be issued in line with each municipality’s approach to the reset process,” said Western Cape, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger.

“The Provincial Treasury has gathered all the contact details for the relevant official in each municipality so residents are able to contact them with any queries they may have. This contact list can be found on” continued Minister Wenger.

Neglecting to update pre-paid meters in time poses a significant risk to the financial sustainability of local governments across the country, with potentially disastrous consequences for residents who rely on municipalities for basic services.
“I want to urge every resident who uses a pre-paid meter to look out for communication from their municipality on the reset process and their specific timelines. When prompted, residents can complete the process by simply inputting a special token code that is issued with pre-paid electricity purchases. It’s a once-off entry, done in the same simple way as loading a pre-paid electricity code. If you’re not seeing the code, or if you are experiencing difficulty to get the code to work, please contact your local municipality immediately for assistance” added Minister Wenger.

Municipalities in the Western Cape have been hard at work helping residents to update their meters. “With an estimated 1 047 682 municipal meters in the province, approximately 82.5% of households have completed the reset, compared to 51.0% nationally. While we still have some way to go, I would like to congratulate Cape Agulhas Municipality for being the first municipality to complete the reset in the province. Several other municipalities in the Western Cape are also on the verge of completing the process.”
“But we are very concerned about the slow progress in resetting meters in areas where customers purchase electricity directly from Eskom. These consumers are at very real risk of being cut-off and face a permanent electricity black-out in their homes and businesses if they aren’t helped to make the necessary updates” shared Minister Wenger.

Used by over 500 power utilities across the world, the Standard Transfer Specification (STS) is the primary global standard protocol for the transfer of electricity and other utility prepayment tokens. According to the STS Association, there are approximately 10 million STS meters in South Africa, 7 million of which are in Eskom service areas, and 3 million in municipal service areas.

“I strongly encourage our municipalities that have yet to complete the process to follow the lead of other Western Cape municipalities to provide certainty for their own revenue management and financial stability. This process is also critical to ensure effective service delivery, so that residents have peace of mind. We can and must avoid the looming pre-paid meter black-out,” concluded Minister Wenger.