City teams on standby to help update prepaid electricity meters

The software for all prepaid electricity meters in South Africa will expire in 2024. Prepaid metering software must be updated or customers won’t be able to recharge their meters with new tokens; and will be left without power supply. Our teams are on standby to help residents update their prepaid electricity meters in the Airport/Crossroads, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Elsies River and Gugulethu areas.

‘The City would like to remind residents that officials in the Electricity Generation and Distribution Department are on standby to assist residents with their prepaid meter software upgrade. Thus far, more than 21 areas in the metro have been reached and approximately 170 000 prepaid meters have been updated. Residents are encouraged to update their meters themselves by following three easy steps.

‘We urge residents to assist their family members with their update where possible, especially elderly family members and those with disabilities. Alternatively, residents are encouraged to call the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 for assistance,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.

The City is following a phased approach. Area by area is being earmarked for updating. Customers in a specific area will receive two update codes with their purchase when their time comes. If the City has not reached an area, and customers have not received the update codes with their electricity purchase, they are not yet due for the update.

Customers in the Airport/Crossroads, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Elsies River and Gugulethu areas were able to update their electricity meters from 1 July 2022. Eligible customers will notice they are due for the update when they make a purchase and see the update codes.

Do it yourself

When making a purchase, customers will receive two 20-digit update codes along with their usual prepaid token. Customers who do not live in the area that is currently earmarked for updating will not be eligible to update their meters yet and will not automatically receive update codes with their normal purchase until their time comes. Update codes will be issued with purchases in areas across the metro in phases in accordance with the area schedule (see below).

Customers may follow these easy steps to enter the update codes when their area is scheduled for the update:

Enter the first 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.

Enter the second 20-digit update code and wait for it to accept.

Enter the usual 20-digit token to recharge units as normal.

Most customers prefer updating their own meters. Those who require assistance are encouraged to contact the City by:

SMS: 31220


Phone: Call Centre: 0860 103 089

City teams on standby to assist if required

City teams are standing by to assist households with the updates. All Covid-19 health and safety protocols are being followed during home visits. Teams carry identification and work order numbers. Phone the City’s call centre for verification.

The areas earmarked for the next phase of the upgrade from 1 September 2022 to 31 October 2022 are Brackenfell, Kraaifontein, Kuils River, Avalon Estate and Vredekloof.

Frequently asked questions – Prepaid electricity meter software update (token identification update – TID)

1. Why must prepaid electricity meters be updated?

The current pre-paid electricity metering software will expire in 2024 for all prepaid electricity meters in South Africa.

Pre-paid meters must be updated or you won’t be able to recharge your meter with new tokens and won’t have power supply. Updates to the software of prepaid electricity meters will happen in a phased approach across the metro to ensure all meters are updated ahead of the deadline. Only when an area is reached for updating, as per the schedule, will customers get the UPDATE codes with their normal purchase. Customers in an area that has not been reached yet as per the schedule, will not be eligible to update their meter yet.

2. Which meters must be updated?

All prepaid electricity meters in South Africa. The City has 570 000 pre-paid meters.

3. By when must meters be updated?

By December 2024 and it will be done in phases.

4. Will all customers be able to update their meters immediately?


City prepaid meters are being updated in accordance with an area schedule. Only when an area is being updated as per the schedule, will update codes be issued when making a purchase. UPDATE codes will not be issued to areas not earmarked for the updating in a certain month and customers in areas that have not yet been reached for updating will not yet be eligible to update their meters.

5. How should meters be updated?

Most customers prefer updating their own meters. They are able to easily update their own meters when making an electricity purchase.

When making a purchase from 1 July 2022 in the Airport/Crossroads, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Elsies River and Gugulethu areas (and then subsequent areas on the schedule), two 20-digit update codes will be included, along with the usual electricity token as soon as the programme is in your area and you are eligible for the update.

Follow these easy steps to enter your update codes WHEN your area is scheduled for the update:

Enter the first 20 digits update code and wait for it to accept.

Enter the second 20 digits update code and wait for it to accept.

Enter your 20 digits token to recharge your units as normal.

6. Will the update codes work on all types of pre-paid electricity meters?

Yes, as soon as the codes are received, but only when an earmarked area for updating has been reached in accordance with the schedule.

7. For how long are the update codes valid?

The two 20-digit update codes must be entered into the meter immediately after it has been supplied as no other recharge token will be accepted by the meter.

8. What happens if I throw away my slip, will I be able to get the two 20-digit codes again?

The customer would have to phone the City to get the code, currently there is no way to get a copy at a vendor.

Take a picture of the slip; or make a note of the two 20-digit update codes.

9. What if I can’t update my own meter?

City teams are visiting areas across the metro according to a schedule over the next two years. They started in Atlantis, Mamre and Pella and will move to the areas on the schedule over time.

10. How do I verify whether a person coming to my home to assist me with an update is from the City?

All Covid-19 health and safety protocols will be followed and teams will carry identification and work order numbers. Customers may phone the City’s Call Centre for verification.

11. If my area is not on the schedule, will areas be visited again?

We plan to go area by area and then at a later date revisit any meters that are not complete regardless of the area. This mop up operation is currently planned for late 2023 and early 2024.

12. I am in line for the City’s ongoing meter replacement programme (to replace old infrastructure), will the new meter be software compliant once installed? Would I need to update the code?

New meters installed will eventually all be updated but we are working through older stock at the moment and the older stock even though newly installed would need to be updated; the new compliant-ready meters are in the City stock stores now. Some of the field staff are already updating the meters if they are on site doing a meter change or site inspection.

13. Will my old unused tokens still work after the upgrade?

No, all old tokens must be entered prior to the update being completed.

14. Where do I find the work schedule for when update tokens will be issued per area?

The schedule is available on the City’s website here.

15. What should I do when my area has been earmarked for updating but I have not received my update codes yet?

The prepaid electricity meter software update takes place in a phased manner within the various earmarked areas. Please give the City some time to reach your specific area.

It is important to note that the system does not automatically issue residents their update token on the first of the month, but can do so any time during that month with a purchase.

If you only purchase electricity once a month and did not receive your update token, then the update token will be made available to you with your next purchase in the following month.

16. Will my electricity meter use more electricity after the software update?

Updates to the software of City prepaid electricity meters will not affect the user’s electricity usage in any way as it does not affect the meter’s calibration. If a resident suspects that their meter may be faulty, they are encouraged to contact us.



Airport/Crossroads July – August 2022

Bishop Lavis


Elsies River


Brackenfell September – October 2022


Kuils River

Joostenberg Vlakte


Bellville November – December 2022


Blue Downs

Eerste River

Rondebosch January – February 2023


Hanover Park

Camps Bay

Cape Town

Green Point

Sea Point

Signal Hill/ Table Mountain


Paarden Eiland

Athlone March – April 2023


Bergvliet May 2023


Diep River

Hout Bay



Cape Point June 2023

Fish Hoek

Kalk Bay




Ocean View

Simon’s Town




Mitchells Plain July – August 2023

Grassy Park September – October 2023


Pelican Park


Gordons Bay November 2023 – December 2023


Sir Lowry’s Pass

Somerset West


Again: it must be noted that only when a specific area is reached as per this schedule, will UPDATE codes be issued with the normal electricity token when a purchase is made.

Source: City Of Cape Town