South Africans can now purchase prepaid electricity on credit. A telecommunications giant which has pioneered the prepaid market in the country now enables struggling South Africans access to electricity that they can pay off at a later stage.
The recently launched prepaid electricity top up can be accessed nationwide on the Blu-advance website.
But Dr Brian Mazorodze, Economics lecturer at the Sol Plaatje University, believes that the service is a double-edged sword and can be a trap for indebted consumers.
“We are going to see more and more households pushed into unsustainable debt. It’s not sustainable from a perspective of consumers themselves but it’s also not sustainable from the perspective of electricity suppliers themselves. Because what it does is in the long term, we’re going to see more pressure applied on the grid.”
The company behind this new concept says they have created a solution to a current problem faced by many struggling consumers.
Blue Label CEO, Mark Levy explains, “Very similar module to that of airtime when you go to airtime, they tell you what they are prepared to advance you and overtime as you become more valuable, the advances will increase. The same concept will happen with electricity.”