6 000 Zesa pre-paid me­ters con­demned Min­is­ter says faulty gad­gets to be re­placed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara

ZESA has in­stalled more than 570 000 pre­paid me­ters since the in­cep­tion of the pro­gramme but about 6 000 of the gad­gets hav­ing failed to meet ac­cept­able in­dus­trial stan­dards.

The power util­ity in­tends to re­place all the faulty me­ters.

Re­spond­ing to ques­tions in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day, En­ergy and Power De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Sa­muel Un­denge said:

“To date 575 667, have been de­ployed. Fail­ure rate has been within ac­cept­able in­dus­trial stan­dards ex­cept me­ters sup­plied by ZTE that ex­hib­ited high fail­ure rate.

“ZTE con­tract was can­celled as a re­sult of high fail­ure rate. To­tal num­ber of me­tres that failed to date is around 6 000 which trans­lates to one per­cent of the in­stalled base.”

He said due to the me­ters’ short­age, it had taken long to re­place some of the gad­gets fail­ing at site but there was a plan to re­place all faulty me­tres as soon as the next de­liv­ery is re­ceived to re­place those fail­ing within the war­ranty pe­riod.

“War­ranty pe­riod was ex­tended to 36 months from the stan­dard 12 months at ZETDC’s re­quest.

“Man­u­fac­tur­ers have also of­fered me­ters at no ad­di­tional cost to re­place those fail­ing at site after ex­piry of war­ranty,” said Dr Un­denge.

“Most of the fail­ures are to do with ex­po­sure to harsh en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions, es­pe­cially rain.

“ZETDC has im­proved the tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tion to en­sure me­ters are higher Ingress Pro­tec­tion rat­ing and hence more re­sis­tant to harsh en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.”

Zesa has said un­der the sec­ond phase of the pre­paid me­ter­ing sys­tem, they would in­stal smart me­ters which are more in­tel­li­gent and highly sen­si­tive to tam­per­ing com­pared to the con­ven­tional billing ar­range­ment.

Un­der the Gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic blue­print, Zim-As­set, the power util­ity is tar­get­ing to in­stal 800 000 pre­paid me­ters by 2018.

Mr Cur­tis Ku­jeke, a sur­veyor, works on a site for res­i­den­tial stands in Spitzkop sub­urb in Gwanda town last Thurs­day. (Pictue by Den­nis Mudza­miri)

Dr Sa­muel Un­denge

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