SOUTH AFRICA – Joburg faces lawsuits for faulty smart meters: DA

Joburg faces lawsuits for faulty smart meters: DA

RDM News Wire | 13 October, 2015 11:07

Smart meter readings rely on cellphone signals‚ which is problematic because in some parts of the city‚ signals from the different networks are not always strong enough‚ resulting in makeshift solutions. File photo
Image by: Supplied / Wendy Knowler

The City of Johannesburg faces a possible class action lawsuit over residents’ smart meter woes‚ the Democratic Alliance warned.

“The installation of smart meters‚ which is causing havoc with electricity bills all across Johannesburg‚ must be stopped until a reputable authority can verify the devices and the process‚” the party’s caucus leader‚ Councillor Vasco Da Gama‚ said.

He said angry residents had been receiving “hugely inflated bills”‚ which could be attributed to the not being “properly calibrated‚ resulting in erratic readings”.

“In addition‚ smart meter readings rely on cellphone signals‚ which is problematic because in some parts of the city‚ signals from the different networks are not always strong enough‚ resulting in makeshift solutions‚” said Da Gama.

“These smart meters should have approval from the South African Bureau of Standards and the National Energy Regulator of SA.”

Da Gama criticised the city’s reaction in Mayibuye in Ivory Park where “newly installed smart meters have been removed after community uproar”.

“City Power bridged the system for residents to receive electricity‚ which is unmetered and free of charge until other arrangements are made‚” said Da Gama‚ adding that this was no solution.

Da Gama said the issue of legal action had been raised by residents and engineersm and that he “was seeking further expert advice on this route”.

“But there can be no doubt that the people are angry”.

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2015/10/13/Joburg-faces-lawsuits-for-faulty-smart-meters-DA

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