Image of a prepaid electricity dispensing meter.
Image of a prepaid electricity dispensing meter.

The prepaid electrical meter in your house will stop working in exactly nine months from today. This is according to the Greater Tzaneen Municipality and various prepaid metering companies in the industry.

As all prepaid metering clients understand, when the electricity in your house runs low, you either hit your banking app and buy a few hundred Rands worth of power, or you take cash into the municipal buildings and buy a voucher over the counter.

This voucher is known as a token, and the 24-digit number on that token is what you punch into your meter and you then recharge your account with however many kw you bought for however many Rands. When a meter accepts a token, it stores the token ID (TID) to prevent the same token being accepted more than once.

The TID represents the minutes elapsed since the 1st of January 1993. The incrementing of the 24-bit field means that at some point in time, the TID value will roll over to a zero value. The upper limit of these unique token IDs (TID) will be reached by 24 November 2024. On this day, the token ID (TID) values will be ‘rolled over’ back to zero.

So, what will the municipality do to combat this and prevent their consumers reaching that situation? There is a rollover programme that was launched today, the 1st of March 2024 and will require representatives of the municipality to physically come around to your home and input two special codes that will basically reset your meter to zero.

The “TID Rollover Programme”, also known as the Key Revision Number (KRN), is an initiative within the prepaid electricity metering industry. Its purpose is to ensure that all prepaid meters are properly updated before they switch to a new Token Identifier Code on November 24, 2024.

“The Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality will actively undertake this process starting from March 1st, 2024, ensuring visits to each meter to achieve completion by the impending November 2024 deadline. For further details, please visit” said the GTM in a statement this week.

“We urge all prepaid customers to grant access to authorized field workers for these audits. Our authorized agents will visit residential homes across Tzaneen, easily identifiable by their yellow TID branded bibs and T-shirts. They will carry valid ID cards displaying their photo, name, surname, and Municipal officials’ contact details.”

Bulletin has wondered why the need for this extensive procedure when it could be easily managed by simply publishing the two special codes and allowing every household to simply punch the numbers in and reset their meter. This should also prevent any homes from being skipped and remove the responsibility from the shoulders of the local municipality.