If revenue collection from electricity sales continues to fall in light of the ongoing pandemic, the impact could be devastating. This is largely because some municipalities in South Africa generate as much as 45% of their revenue from electricity sales.
This interview was originally published in African Power & Energy Elites 2021.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue collection was already dismally low – a 2019 Municipal Report by the Auditor-General suggests that 60% of revenue reflected on the books of municipalities will never be paid. Yet, as the financial realities of life in a (post-)pandemic world start making themselves felt, power theft andpayment delinquency are increasing.
Viven Perumal, Marketing Director at Conlog, says: “We have spent a lot of time getting insight from our customers. One particular issue is that billing and cash collection cycles are getting longer. We knew that many of our customers had similar challenges and we have tried to address a number of these through a single offering. We believe that scale will ensure more clients benefit from our solutions.”
Prepaid meters have long been a gateway to revenue collection and management for utilities. Anything that can impact the accuracy of a meter or a subsequent bill will compromise revenue collection and protection in one way or another – these include errors in billing, inaccurate meter readings or outright tampering and theft. As a cluster of considerations, it is vital to therefore ensure that the meter is as accurate, robust and reliable as possible; that it remains 100% functional; that vending is facilitated seamlessly; and that revenue management and protection operate in tandem.