Group partner, Inzalo EMS (formerly Sebata), was appointed by Alfred Nzo District Municipality to implement a Revenue Enhancement solution in the district. This project comprised of four phases, with Cedarville elected to be the first town to install pre-paid meters:
- stand/water meter audit
- billing management and pre-paid vending solution
- the installation of both pre-paid and conventional water meters, as well as
- the management of the meter reading function in the towns of the district.
Inzalo EMS after completing an audit of the Cedarville town, made several findings:
- The water infrastructure consisted predominantly of straight pipes with bypassed water meters
- the majority of properties were unmetered
- the town’s 3 reservoirs were mostly empty, requiring water-shedding and long periods of time with no supply due to insufficient supply
- the District’s limited ability to enforce credit control, meant that they were unable to recover costs associated with water usage.
The metering solution acquired for the project consisted of the Mk3 WMD with the normal C class Volumetric Amanzi meter.
904 prepaid solutions were installed in Cedarville, with the roll-out beginning on 25 October 2015 and concluding on the 15th of December 2015.
During the first two weeks of the implementation phase, it was apparent that residents allowed water leakages, running toilets and overuse of water on their properties to go unattended. However, this behaviour soon abated once they became responsible for paying for their own water supply. From a mere collection of R100 in October 2015 (with previous months averaging +/- R500 per month), cash collections spiked from +/-R22,000 in November 2015, to +/-R57,000 in December 2015. With residents financially accountable for their own water supply, residents also began repairing leaks on their properties.
Cedarville had only recovered R4,500 from the town’s use of water , in it’s previous financial year. However, only 2 months after the pre-paid solutions had been installed, this amount was quickly exceeded.
- The District received R230 in the first week of installation. (Free water had been given to the residents to allow them time to register for the meters)
- In the second month, the municipality received in excess of R30,000 in revenue
- In the third month, the municipality received R56,310
- The fourth month saw a decrease in revenue to R46,609
- Whereas by February 2016, the amount had reduced even further to R29,000.
The reduction in revenue experienced from the fourth month, and it’s stabilising thereafter, was attributed to the residents becoming more responsible with their water meter consumption, not only in terms of usage, but also in repairing water leaks on their properties.
“Alfred Nzo District can now fully meet its obligation to the community by steadily supplying a vital flow of water” – Xolani Masiza, Technical Director, Alfred Nzo