How Powertel killed electricity queues
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Paying ZESA bills or pre-paid electricity a few months ago was probably one of the most painful process every Zimbabwean had to go through due to long winding queues at ZESA banking halls that sold the tokens. The decision by Zesa to rope its technological subsidiary and Internet Access Provider, PowerTel proved to be the right move to deal with the situation.Powertel’s panacea to the ZESA queues was the e-vend system, an electronic system that has allowed other players with customer service and access to offer pre-paid ZESA at a certain commission, which has made ZESA payments points ubiquitous.
Powertel is running the system with PowerPlus. To this end Powertel is now collecting 92 percent of all ZESA payments, a staggering achievement for a technology that Zimbabwe has implemented less than 2 years. The new technology has brought convenience to electricity users one of which is Budiriro resident Mr Charles Mufori.
“I have not visited any of the town branches for the past two years, in fact I buy my pre-paid ZESA at a local tuck shop through the ZB access point right across my house, which has been so convenient for my family,” he said.
A visit to Matabeleland also showed that people in Bulawayo are no longer queuing for ZESA tokens.
To date, the 10 PowerPlus vending partners have established several direct vending points running under the e-vendor system and ZB bank leads the pack with 9 741 points while POSB has 3 510 and CBZ 1 632 points .
Powertel is the sole aggregator of the system, which has more than 21 000 vending points nationwide.
As many Zimbabweans are getting accustomed to the PowerPlus system, millions across the nation no longer see any need or point of visiting ZESA banking halls.
As a result ZETDC has been closing its banking halls, the latest being the one at Megawatt building which closed yesterday.
In its statement ZETDC advised its clients to use other branches including the PowerPlus vending partners which are NetOne One Wallet, CBZ bank, ZB bank, Zimpost , Ok retails stores, TelOne, Agribank, Petrotrade Service stations, Home link, POSB and some stores .
The system has also ensured that ZESA has money to import electricity, which has seen an end to load shedding.
The move resonates well with the country’s economic blueprint the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation’s agenda to increase productivity and revenue earning while advancing technological solutions that has significantly introduced convenience and efficiency to the nation.
Powertel has been able to deliver its national mandate of infrastructure development into the backbone services while connecting the nation at large on its technological platform, a result based achievement it has managed to roll out with their sister companies, ZPC and ZETDC .
The Writer is the editor of TechnoMag, Zimbabwe’s Premier Technology Magazine, more in depth on www.technomag.co.zw. Twitter @TechnoMagZw and Yout use TechnoMagZw Join our whatsapp group 263 773 828 407