eThekwini Municipality has launched a new smart electricity metering system that it hopes will solve the city’s billing crisis that has led to meters going unread for months and bill shock for many households.

eThekwini Municipality mayor Mxolisi Kaunda launched the smart metering system on Wednesday saying that it would reduce glitches in the current billing system. 

The current glitches in the system have led to residents sometimes receiving exorbitant bills for water and electricity running into tens of thousands of rands, even when their consumption has in fact been normal.

Kaunda said that the new smart electricity metering system provides two-way communication between the customer and the municipality. 

“The system was created in response to complaints we received from customers about exorbitant water and electricity bills. The launch of the smart metering system will ensure that residents are not unfairly billed. It will also assist to prevent load shedding,” he said.

Kaunda said the system will address the City’s billing system as well as prevent electricity and water theft. 

“It will also enhance our revenue collection and enable meter readings to be automatically uploaded. The city is currently rolling out this programme to its more than 700000 customers,” Kaunda said.

Mayor Kaunda also unveiled the municipality’s new cleansing and solid waste fleet. He said that the new fleet would assist the municipality to address the city’s waste management challenges in line with the its sustainable waste management plan.

“This capital investment of over R185 million will improve waste management in eThekwini. This is critical to attract new investment,” Kaunda said.

Kaunda added that the city would soon be unveiling a new landfill site in Ntshongweni, which is the third pillar of the municipality’s waste management plan.

The Municipality is also accelerating its local education campaigns to encourage people to keep the environment and their communities clean and to participate in the city’s various recycling initiatives to turn waste into resources. 

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