ZIMBABWE Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (Zetdc) has approached the State Procurement Board (SPB) to get approval to buy additional 40 000 prepaid meters while a tender for 150 000 meters is being processed.
by BUSINESS REPORTER
Zetdc managing director Julian Chinembiri said 537 999 meters were installed, representing 95% of the first phase of the prepaid meter installation project. He said a balance of 23 000 meters was still outstanding for the first phase.
“We have concluded the first phase where four contractors were installing the prepaid meters. There are only 23 000 meters that are left and after that we will not have any,”
Chinembiri said. “We have approached the SPB to buy 40 000 meters to take us through the period when that tender for
150 000 meters will be done. There will be a gap of four months without meters.”
He said 40 000 additional meters would go a long way in ensuring more connections.
“The prepaid metering project is yielding benefits in terms of revenue collection and increased efficient utilisation by customers. The 95,24% include L & G and Itron meters installed internally by Zetdc,” Chinembiri said.
He said the smart meters project was being finalised and the tender was being handled by SPB.
“As we speak, the tender for smart metering has not been given out. I have not seen the documentation,” the Zetdc boss said.
The country now has 87 537 remaining points that do not have prepaid meters. Areas that do not have prepaid meters include Mbare, Highfield, Mufakose and Kambuzuma in Harare. Chinembiri said meters in such suburbs had looped connections with one service cable feeding more than one house and conversion to prepaid meters was not possible before service connections were separated.
“Zetdc is looking at various proposals to resolve the issue so that the meters in these suburbs can be converted to prepaid. The major contributory factor to billing challenges Zetdc experienced in the previous years was mainly related to failures in the billing and meter-reading processes,” he said.