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Electricity Payment System Failure Exposes ZETDC

Several Zimbabwean households have been plunged into darkness amid revelations that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority prepaid system is failing to create tokens across all platforms.

The major problem is emanating from the ZESA 3e system.

The system, responsible for generating electricity tokens is currently overwhelmed by several requests from “first monthly purchases”.

This has resulted in server crush.

The congestion is primarily caused by an uninformed suggestion among several consumers that electricity is cheaper if bought in the first week.

This is, however, not true. Tokens are only cheaper for the first 200 units that you buy anytime of the month.

Powertel, a ZETDC subsidiary through e-vending platform is the one that connects all agents from an application platform side like Ecocash, One Money, Banks and supermarket systems, as the face or portal of transactions.

Sources have confirmed that the application side of the program running on the Powertel e-vending platform is connecting successfully with all vendors.

But, the technical challenge is of failing to hit the 3e server that is run and maintained by ZETDC for token generation.

The biggest challenges with this model is when one technological company is tasked with the other end of the system only not rely with the other end, which technically was never made to do so.

ZETDC structurally is mandated with electricity distribution service, which mainly includes running the power stations and connectivity lines to various end users, this they do well and have been.

The major problem however is within their new system where ZETDC is still mandated to generate electricity tokens and oversee the technological bandwidth and traffic they do not originate in the first place, this is an ICT planning error.
In any ICT planning, a flawless system within a holding company must be run and maintained from a single point of control.

ZETDC is wasting services by duplicating Powertel’s role while more importantly introducing an unnecessary resource allocation of bandwidth servers and maintenance when all these could be managed from a central point.

According to ZESA they have admitted they are currently overwhelmed by requests coming in at the beginning of the new month.

“ZETDC would like to apologise to its valued customers for the long turnaround periods in the processing of transactions in the purchase of electricity.”

“ZETDC advises that delays being experienced by customers are due to high volumes of token purchases during the beginning of the month and are putting pressure on the system, the position that we are in the process of addressing.”

“ZETDC further advises customers that the lifeline tariff is enjoyed once a month when they make the first token purchase of units ANY DAY during any calendar month, therefore it is not true that elecrticity is cheaper when purchases are done within the first five days of the month.”

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