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Standard Transfer Specification (STS) prepayment meters Token Identifier (TID) rollover workshop




Posted: 08 September 2021

On the 24th of August 2021, SALGA held a Standard Transfer Specification (STS) prepayment meters Token Identifier (TID) rollover workshop for all municipalities, seeking to achieve the following:

  • To present the South African STS TID rollover status quo report;
  • To discuss the progress made in the TID rollover, case studies from one metropolitan municipality and one smaller municipality;
  • To discuss the TID rollover process and share the lessons learnt, challenges and successes in TID rollover; and
  • Facilitate peer to peer knowledge and information sharing on the TID rollover.

The workshop follows a survey which was conducted by SALGA on the TID rollover. SALGA highlighted that some municipalities have not yet completed the questionnaire, and the Chairpersons of the PWGs have been requested to intervene and get the outstanding municipalities to complete the questionnaire.

Municipalities use the STS technology to measure and charge prepaid electricity. There are over 3 million prepaid meters in different municipalities across the country. Municipalities need to reset their prepayment meters before November 2024.

The STS is the global standard for the transfer of electricity and other utility prepayment tokens. It secures message protocol that allows information to be carried between point of sale equipment and payment meters. Municipalities use the STS technology to measure and charge water and electricity.

All prepayment meters based on STS technology will stop dispensing electricity on 24 November 2024, thus presenting a significant risk to the service levels, sales and revenue collection of all municipalities to end user customers in the electricity utilities business. The TID is referenced to a base date of 1993 and will run out of range in 2024.

Therefore, the prepayment meters will stop accepting new credit tokens, and will then stop dispensing electricity after the existing credits are used up. Any tokens generated after this date and utilizing the 24 digit TID, calculated on base date 1993, will be rejected by the meters as being old tokens as the TID value encoded in the token will have reset back to 0.

Certain municipalities, such as Dr. Beyers Naude Local Municipality and Buffalo City which has already began with implementation, made a presentation that served as progress and peer learning. Dr. Beyers Naude Local Municipality incorporates the towns of Nieu Bethesda, Graaf-Reniet, Aberdeen, Jansenville, Klipplaat, Steytlerville and Willowmore. Eskom also presented on the progress with regards to the Eskom KRN rollover.

Over 130 000 prepayment meters of the existing 3 million have been reset from at least 19 municipalities across the country. SALGA emphasized that municipalities need to have a concrete plan of action with time lines from the beginning to the end of the project, i.e. based on the number of prepayment meters that a municipality has, when it will start the TID rollover meter reset, and the anticipated completion date before November 2024.

SALGA in collaboration with stakeholders (NT, COGTA, SANEDI, STS Association, AMEU and Eskom) will continue to support and assist municipalities through advisory services on the TID rollover meters reset. Moreover, SALGA will facilitate regular sessions for peer to peer learning, knowledge and information sharing on various aspects of the TID rollover including the financial implication (costs) for the project, time frame for rolling out this project, i.e. how long does it take to reset certain number of prepayment meters etc.

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