South African Government Using SMS to Distribute Free Electricity Vouchers

Digital Content

Sybase 365 says that it is providing the messaging platform for an SMS based electricity voucher scheme being rolled out in South Africa.

The initial service provides real-time electricity pre-pay meter recharge for Eskom (the South African electricity public utility) and various municipalities using a mobile wallet developed by MoPay. A key element of the service is to facilitate the distribution of Free Basic Electricity tokens (tokens distributed by the government to low-income households), sent by SMS to registered meter owners.

"It is very rewarding to be at the forefront of a project which can really make a profound difference to the lives of people in South Africa. So many people are faced with a half day round trip to reach services that they can now access using a network independent, ubiquitous mCommerce service. It would be difficult for a farmer to give up a day tending his farm to go to visit his bank," said Cobus Potgieter, CEO, MoPay. "Our partnership with Sybase 365 enables us to extend mobile-based service offerings to many more diverse, under-privileged and remote communities."

As well as providing this payment mechanism, MoPay also facilitates other services vital to thriving villages and communities, such as free communications, free SMS between schools and parents and free content for schools and students.

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