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City teams on standby to assist customers with updating prepaid electricity meters in Far South suburbs


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City teams on standby to assist customers with updating prepaid electricity meters in Far South suburbs

City of Cape Town
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30th May 2023


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All prepaid metering software in South Africa must be updated or customers won’t be able to recharge their meters with new tokens; and will be left without power supply. Areas are being earmarked for updating across Cape Town in a phased approach. Customers will receive two update codes with their purchase when their time comes. If the City has not reached a specific area, and customers have not received the update codes with their electricity purchase, they are not yet due for the update. Residents are asked to please give us some time to reach the area and wait until you see the codes with your purchase. Eligible customers will notice they are due for the update when they make a purchase and see the update codes. City teams will be on standby in the new areas to assist customers if required. Read more below: 



Customers in the following areas are able to update their electricity meters as of 1 June to 30 June 2023:

Cape Point


Fish Hoek

Kalk Bay




Ocean View

Simon’s Town




The City is making good progress with its prepaid electricity meter software upgrade programme. Some 53 areas in the metro have already been reached and approximately 370 000 or 52% of prepaid meters have been updated according to plan. The City will reach the remaining 21 areas in the coming months.

Residents are encouraged to update their meters themselves by following the three easy steps.  

Residents are urged to help their family members with their updates where possible, particularly elderly family members and those with disabilities. Alternatively, residents are encouraged to call the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 for assistance.

Do it yourself

When making a purchase, customers will receive two 20-digit update codes along with their usual prepaid token. Customers who do not live in the area that is currently earmarked for updating will not be eligible to update their meters yet and will not automatically receive update codes with their normal purchase until their time comes.Update codes will be issued with purchases in areas across the metro in phases in accordance with the area schedule (see below). 

Customers may follow these easy steps to enter the update codes when their area is scheduled for the update:

1.    Enter the first 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.

2.    Enter the second 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.

3.    Enter the usual 20-digit token to recharge units as normal.

Most customers prefer updating their own meters. Those who require assistance are encouraged to contact the City by: 

SMS: 31220


Phone: Call Centre: 0860 103 089

City teams are on standby to assist if required

City teams are standing by to assist households with the updates. Teams carry identification and work order numbers. Phone the City’s call centre for verification.

Frequently asked questions – Prepaid electricity meter software update (token identification update – TID)

Why must prepaid electricity meters be updated? 

The current pre-paid electricity metering software will expire in 2024 for all prepaid electricity meters in South Africa. 

Pre-paid meters must be updated or you won’t be able to recharge your meter with new tokens and won’t have power supply. Updates to the software of prepaid electricity meters will happen in a phased approach across the metro to ensure all meters are updated ahead of the deadline. Only when an area is reached for updating, as per the schedule, will customers get the update codes with their normal purchase. Customers in an area that has not been reached yet as per the schedule, will not be eligible to update their meter yet. 

Which meters must be updated? 

All prepaid electricity meters in South Africa. The City has 570 000 pre-paid meters. 

By when must meters be updated? 

By December 2024 and it will be done in phases. 

Will all customers be able to update their meters immediately? 


City prepaid meters are being updated in accordance with an area schedule. Only when an area is being updated as per the schedule will update codes be issued when making a purchase. Update codes will not be issued to areas not earmarked for the updating in a certain month and customers in areas that have not yet been reached for updating will not yet be eligible to update their meters. 

How should meters be updated? 

Most customers prefer updating their own meters. They are able to easily update their own meters when making an electricity purchase. 

When making a purchase from 1 May in the Bergvliet, Constantia, Diep River, Hout Bay, Plumstead and Wynberg areas (and then subsequent areas on the schedule), two 20-digit update codes will be included, along with the usual electricity token as soon as the programme is in your area and you are eligible for the update. 

Follow these easy steps to enter your update codes WHEN your area is scheduled for the update:

Enter the first 20 digits update code and wait for it to accept.

Enter the second 20 digits update code and wait for it to accept.

Enter your 20 digits token to recharge your units as normal.

Will the update codes work on all types of pre-paid electricity meters? 

Yes, as soon as the codes are received, but only when an earmarked area for updating has been reached in accordance with the schedule.  

For how long are the update codes valid? 

The two 20-digit update codes must be entered into the meter immediately after it has been supplied as no other recharge token will be accepted by the meter. 

What happens if I throw away my slip, will I be able to get the two 20-digit codes again?

The customer would have to phone the City to get the code. Currently there is no way to get a copy at a vendor.

Take a picture of the slip; or make a note of the two 20-digit update codes. 

What if I can’t update my own meter? 

City teams are visiting areas across the metro according to a schedule over the next two years. They started in Atlantis, Mamre and Pella and will move to the areas on the schedule over time. 

How do I verify whether a person coming to my home to assist me with an update is from the City? 

Teams will carry identification and work order numbers. Customers may phone the City’s Call Centre for verification. 

If my area is not on the schedule, will areas be visited again?

We plan to go area by area and then at a later date revisit any meters that are not complete regardless of the area. This mop up operation is currently planned for late 2023 and early 2024.

I am in line for the City’s ongoing meter replacement programme (to replace old infrastructure), will the new meter be software compliant once installed? Would I need to update the code? 

New meters installed will eventually all be updated but we are working through older stock at the moment and the older stock even though newly installed would need to be updated; the new compliant-ready meters are in the City stock stores now. Some of the field staff are already updating the meters if they are on site doing a meter change or site inspection.

Will my old unused tokens still work after the upgrade? 

No, all old tokens must be entered prior to the update being completed.

Where do I find the work schedule for when update tokens will be issued per area? 

The schedule is available on the City’s website here.

What should I do when my area has been earmarked for updating but I have not received my update codes yet? 

The prepaid electricity meter software update takes place in a phased manner within the various earmarked areas. Please give the City some time to reach your specific area.

It is important to note that the system does not automatically issue residents their update token on the first of the month, but can do so any time during that month with a purchase.

If you only purchase electricity once a month and did not receive your update token, then the update token will be made available to you with your next purchase in the following month.  

Will my electricity meter use more electricity after the software update?

Updates to the software of City prepaid electricity meters will not affect the user’s electricity usage in any way as it does not affect the meter’s calibration. If a resident suspects that their meter may be faulty, they are encouraged to contact us.

Will my electricity units disappear or decrease when the meter is updated?

No, a customer’s electricity units will not be affected by the update. However, should customers have any technical issues; they are encouraged to contact the City’s Call Centre.

Again: it must be noted that only when a specific area is reached as per this schedule, will update codes be issued with the normal electricity token when a purchase is made. 





Issued by The City of Cape Town

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