Free Essay

Prepaid Eletricity

In: Social Issues

Submitted By magu0974
Words 774
Pages 4
Name: Magugu Nyathi

Student Number: 45337322

Assignment 02: Semester 01

Due Date: 25 April 2014

Unique Number: 837898

QUESTION 1

Discuss both the positive and negative effects of a particular scientific advance on a society of your choice. Based on your research, consider whether any constraints should be put in place.

Prepaid electricity in South Africa as a technological advance

Prepaid Electricity is fast becoming a Global premium way of being connected to the electricity provider. Most countries, South Africa included now make use of prepaid electricity and meters to provide electricity to their citizens as it makes it easier for consumers to monitor and control their consumption.

Prepaid electric power metering was introduced in South Africa as a small scale engineering project in the 1980’s (McDonald, 2012). However, its use dates back to 1913 when it was used in mining settlements. In the 1990’s prepaid electricity was introduced in Soweto townships like Thembisa as a way of improving electricity infrastructure in the townships. One positive effect of this technological advancement was a move away from the financial problems caused by the use of post-paid electricity. Post-paid electricity was costly, as it was based on meters that recorded consumption (McDonald, 2012). The reading of these meters, distribution of bills, dealing with arrears and disconnecting consumers who failed to pay proved to be very difficult. Residents in Thembisa first responded by destroying prepaid meters, while the Thembisa council responded by protecting the prepaid meter infrastructure.

Name: Magugu Nyathi

Student Number: 45337322

Assignment 02: Semester 01

Due Date: 25 April 2014

Unique Number: 837898

This protection involved putting a metal meter cover and an alarm linked to the municipality if there is tempering of meters. In addition the Thembisa Council nullified the arrears owed by households that agreed to install prepaid meters. This increased the installation of prepaid meters (McDonald, 2012).

Prepaid electricity brought with it the advantage of being able to control consumption, avoid owing on electricity accounts and using electricity in a budget wise manner (Malzbender and Kamoto, 2005). However, the introduction of prepaid electricity has been viewed as inappropriate by households that cannot afford to buy the prepaid electricity cards and the fact that the prepaid electricity finishes fast. Households that cannot afford to buy enough units often, end up without electricity towards the end of the month (Malzbender and Kamoto, 2005). Not-withstanding these disadvantages prepaid electricity meters have reduced financial problems caused by fraudulent illegal connection of post-paid meters that had overhead cables that could be tempered with easily (Malzbender and Kamoto, 2005).

Prepaid electricity also allows for energy saving. Post-paid electricity was disconnected when household failed to pay their electricity bills. Prepaid electricity has brought with it reductions in power disconnections and increased accountability of households in terms of careful usage of electricity (Miyogo et al., 2013). In general electricity has brought with it the advantage of refrigeration, better methods of cooking, better transmission of information and studying at night, amongst other advantages. However the pricing of electricity can make it

Name: Magugu Nyathi

Student Number: 45337322

Assignment 02: Semester 01

Due Date: 25 April 2014

Unique Number: 837898

unaffordable to other people who are forced to live without electricity or resort to usage of unsafe energy methods (McDonald, 2012).

As much as the prepaid mode of electricity is being accepted as important in careful consumption and budgeting, some people are not satisfied with it. It is undisputable that prepaid electricity allows people to manage their usage accurately and carefully. The buying of the units has also been made easy since electricity vouchers are available in shops, banking atms, cell phones and via the internet (McDonald, 2012).

In conclusion it is my view that although prepaid electricity is an innovation that allows consumers to buy electricity before usage, countries should consider enacting standard guidelines and regulations on installing these metered machines. Furthermore this innovation may be a problem for poor households as it may require a bank account, an ATM, or a dedicated machine and sometimes shops to reload credit. Without this infrastructure, the prepayment could be difficult.

Reference List

Malzbender, D. & Kamoto, B. (2005). Domestic electricity provision in the democratic South Africa. The Nordic Africa Institute’s conflicting forms of citizenship programme. South Africa: University of Pretoria.

McDonald, D. A. (2012). Electricity capitalism: Recolonising Africa on the power grid. South Africa: Routledge.

Miyogo, C., Ondieki, N. & Nashappi, N. G. (2013). An assessment of the effect of prepaid service transition in electricity bill payment on KP customers, a survey of Kenya power, West Kenya Kisumi. American international journal of contemporary research, 3(9), 88-97.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Warid

...1. Company review |Warid Telecom | |[pic] | |TYPE |Private | |FOUNDED |2004 | |HEAD QUATERS |301-Dhabi Tower, Hamdan Street, Post Box 44222, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | |KEY PEOPLE |Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Chairman | | |Mr. Bashir A. Tahir, CEO Abu Dhabi Group & Warid International | |INDUSTRY |Telecommunication | |PRODUCTS |Telephony | |WEBSITE |www.wridtel.com | Warid Telecom International is an Abu Dhabi based mobile telecommunication firm providing telephony services in Bangladesh and Pakistan. 2. Executive summary Warid is preparing to launch a new product, the Light, Warid modem and......

Words: 1356 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Operations

...Operations Qiyuan Sun According to the annual report of T-Mobile in 2013, Cash provided by operating activities was $3.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2013, compared to $3.9 billion for the same period in 2012. The decrease in cash flow provided by operating activities was driven by several factors. Selected Operational Data of T-Mobile from 2009-2013 Investor.t-mobile.com,. 2015. 'T-Mobile, Annual Report, 2013'. http://investor.t-mobile.com/Cache/1500059458.PDF?Y=&O=PDF&D=&fid=1500059458&T=&iid=4091145. The operating income, exclusive of non-cash items such as impairment charges and depreciation and amortization, declined compared to the same period in the prior year primarily as a result of decreases in branded postpaid revenues. Net changes in working capital decreased slightly due to increases in EIP receivables, offset in part by increases in accounts payable and accrued liabilities due in part to timing of vendor payments. Investor.t-mobile.com,. 2015. 'T-Mobile, Annual Report, 2013'.http://investor.t-mobile.com/Cache/1500059458.PDF?Y=&O=PDF&D=&fid=1500059458&T=&iid=4091145. Cash provided by operating activities was $3.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2012, compared to $5.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2011. The decrease in cash flow provided by operating activities in 2012 was driven by several factors. T-Mobile made payments of $193 million primarily for employee-related expenses as a......

Words: 4606 - Pages: 19

Free Essay

Business Marketing

...but deliver a high level of value to the user. In addition, World Page Cellular seeks to promote the highest levels of customer service. World Page Cellular works to educate users about communication tools believing that informed pragmatic consumers will find value in World Page Cellular. World Page Cellular is dedicated to making communication products and services easy to understand allowing users to remain in control of their World Page Cellular experience. Finally World Page Cellular recognizes that that their interactions with society reflect their character as an organization and pledge to have those interactions to embody those characteristics they claim to possess. World Page Cellular, a vendor of prepaid wireless services in the United States, offers affordable prepaid services without borders. World Page offers maximum freedom through the avenue of choice, which most carriers do not offer customers. World Page Cellular plans to become the leading no-contract wireless service provider in South Florida providing the ultimate in customer satisfaction and service. World Page Cellular’s quest to seize market share comes with an emphasis on targeting those of international descent. Whether consumers are from European descent or Caribbean descent, the goal of World Page is to provide those individuals with the best wireless service possible allowing them to touch base with family and friends from their home countries. These individuals make up more than two-thirds of the......

Words: 4454 - Pages: 18

Free Essay

History of Virgin Mobile Usa

...mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in November 1999. The company leased network space from Deutsche Telekom instead of investing in and running a network in-house. However, the company did not succeed in Singapore. Virgin Mobile and Singapore Telecommunications entered into a joint venture but it only reached less than 30,000 subscribers after its launch in October 2001. One of the reasons for its failure is that the market had been too saturated to sustain a new entrant. Another reason is that the company’s positioning as the hip and trendy brand did not appeal to the Singapore market. In 2002, it launched a wireless phone service in the U.S. It was one of the first companies in the country to offer prepaid cellular service. Virgin Mobile was the first prepaid-only provider in the U.S. Virgin Mobile USA had a joint venture with Sprint, one of the countries big carriers. The company’s services were hosted on Sprint’s PCS network wherein Virgin Mobile would purchase minutes from Sprint. In 2004, they came up with “Chrismahanukwanzakah” which was a fictional holiday used in an advertising campaign aired during the Christmas season....

Words: 460 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Virgin Mobile

... In order to achieve their goals, the company has to come up with a competitive pricing strategy to attract and retain customers in an already mature market. Recommended course of action Despite a mature US market, the cellular service industry has a market penetration of only about 15% in the segment comprising of users aged between 15 and 19 years. This segment is characterized by inconsistent cell phone usage, low credit ratings and usage pattern different from the typical businessperson. Hence, Virgin Mobile USA is looking to penetrate this segment and create brand loyalty through attractive pricing and additional feature in mobile entertainment. Based on our analysis, we recommend the following: 1. Aim for the non-contractual prepaid segment with a new pricing structure: Virgin Mobile USA should look to price at 20-30 cents per minute. 2. Increase the off peak hours: The company could extend the off-peak hours by 2 hours, starting at 7pm instead of 9pm. 3. Lowering of Acquisition Cost (AC): Virgin Mobile USA should keep its AC around $130 by passing on a part of the handset cost to the customers. Rationale for Recommendation We can see from Exhibits 1 & 2 that if Virgin Mobile opted for a contractual service plan with rates at par with industry average the Customer Life Time Value (LTV) will be considerably high. However, the pricing will act as a big deterrent in attracting new customers. The national players might be quick in introducing features......

Words: 1052 - Pages: 5