The rising prices of utilities are making South Africans a lot more conscious of their consumption. Here, the Internet of Things (IoT) can play a key role in enabling consumers to monitor and manage their consumption, ultimately reducing costs. In South Africa’s eight major metropolitan municipalities alone, there are over 3.5 million water meters, accounting for 40% of the country’s total tally.

Lesira-Teq smart water meters share data from meters to consumer, billing and management systems, simplifying one the most tedious revenue collection processes for our Municipalities. Through Sigfox’s network national coverage they can communicate with the meters across dispersed communities. Through a smartphone, the Lesira Consumer App allows the consumer to shape their own water consumption with the information they receive.

SqwidNet managing director Phathizwe Malinga says: “The digital journey of connecting the physical world to share data to a platform or application, is becoming well understood in most of the sectors we operate in. In the utility space, it is becoming increasingly powerful and valuable as a tool to notify individuals of consumption anomalies.

“Lesira has decided to partner with us because we are able to provide them with an SLA-backed network service, that no other wireless provider is able to.  We are driving innovation through a nation-wide IoT network that is low-cost and low-power together with our partners to bring solutions to the market that drive value.”

Lesira-Teq CEO Edwin Sibiya adds: “We transformed into digital reading in 2006, and for the first time in history, consumers were able to monitor their consumption in Rand and cents. We realised the lives that we were changing and have never looked back. Our latest partnership with SqwidNet, the Sigfox operator in South Africa, means that we do not have to continue rolling out our own network, saving us capital, giving us the possibility of scaling our services into the whole of South Africa, and enabling us to focus on what we do best – manufacturing.”

He adds that while the SLA gives them peace of mind, the continued technical support from SqwidNet and competitive pricing allows them to give the best value to their customers.

“As a company with strong roots in the smart metering industry, we pride ourselves in being the first global, black-owned IoT enabled Smart Prepaid Meter Manufacturer. It wasn’t that long ago when we launched our first Water Management Unit, a logger with consumption reporting and leak detection technology, and thereafter a Water Management Device which adds water flow control functionality.

“In the past two years, we have also invested in the development of gas and electricity metering products. We have successfully rolled out Sigfox enabled smart meters nationally, with Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal leading in the adoption,” Sibiya concludes.

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