SARPA’s new strategy produces excellent results

SARPA has been very active this year with many different and exciting developments on all fronts. The new President Mr. William Olivier has committed the Association to a strategy of enhancing its image locally and abroad, taking a leading role in the country with regard to the combating of “copper theft”, training of Utility and Law enforcement personnel across the spectrum of Revenue Protection and Utility metal thefts as well as assisting ailing municipalities through the SARPA Revenue Recovery Strategy.

The very challenging Revenue Recovery project became an instant winner when the test exercise at Drakenstein Municipality and a pilot exercise at Kouga Municipality both proved to be huge successes. During these projects the development of the SARPA Revenue Recovery Toolkit was completed and the aim is now to find partners to sponsors future projects. Discussions with DBSA have been ongoing in this regard. Another highlight is the fact that the Department of Water Affairs has joined forces with SARPA in this very important exercise.  Several Municipalities have already indicated an interest to have such projects conducted in their areas of responsibility and SARPA is currently in the process of finalising the final roll out of the plan.

Copper theft on the other hand has once again become a huge issue in South Africa and SARPA has been identified as one of the main role players to assist in compiling a National Strategy. SARPA is currently involved in providing guidance and training on provincial and national level and also plays a leading role in initiatives like the Non Ferrous Crime Combating Forum (NFCCC) and the SACCI Copper Theft Forum. SARPA is also leading the drive to reestablish the forums in Limpopo and Freestate provinces, as the old ones have stopped functioning with the transfer of coordination process from the SAPS Organized Crime Division to Visible Policing.

All of the seven SARPA branches in the country are currently functioning very well.  The Mapumulanga branch is once again active and a new branch is also planned in Namibia in March 2012. A big effort is currently underway to ensure that representatives from Municipal Water and Financial Directorates also attend the meetings.  The yearly Convention in Polokwane was a huge success and it was noted that all the speakers presented solutions rather than pointing out problems.

The SARPA / NRS initiative to review several NRS standards and to develop a new guideline for the combating of Utility Metal thefts (NRS 101) has been completed in a very short period. This has resulted in SABS awarding the Technical Advisor Mr. Rens Bindeman with an award as a token of gratitude for the effort that went into achieving this goal.

All these efforts has seen SARPA representatives been invited to present workshops and papers at conferences in Central and Southern America, as well as in several other African countries.

Overall SARPA has experienced a very prosperous 2011 and we look forward to increasing the effort in 2012.

By Rens Bindeman
SARPA Technical Advisor


SARPA acknowledged for contributing to NRS process

For the past few years SARPA has focused on reviewing all the NRS guidelines that deals with revenue loss issues on a regular basis, rather than waiting for the due dates. However, this strategy resulted in a huge workload, when several documents had to be reviewed in 2011. This included NRS 055, NRS 096, NRS059 and NRS080.

SARPA at the same time initiated a new guideline to focus on the controversial issue of “copper theft”. This document NRS 101- Combating of Utility Metal theft was completed within a very short period of time. This has resulted in Eskom nominating the SARPA Technical Advisor Mr. Rens Bindeman for the “2011 Eskom NRS award in Association with SABS for exceptional contribution to standardization through participation in NRS work, at the SABS annual Gala dinner at Gallagher Estate on 14 October 2011.

SARPA wishes to thank all its members who have contributed in the past on the various NRS workgroups. This effort is very valuable for the industry and SARPA has singled it out as one of the major projects to focus on in the future.


Residents fuming after crackdown on illegal connections - How does SARPA deal with this?

“We don’t steal electricity. We’re taking it because our government has failed to deliver on its promises”, this is the general attitude of people living in the Kliptown area after illegal connections were removed from one of the informal settlements recently.

This kind of thinking is not confined to Kliptown alone as many citizens across the country feel the same way. This remains a huge challenge to Revenue Protection departments and for SARPA in particular. But during SARPA’s 2012 convention, we hope to meet some of these challenges.

The theme for this year’s convention is “Effective Revenue Recovery Solutions” and is hosted by Drakenstein Municipality on 12 & 13 July 2012.

Contact Marlindi at for more on the convention.


Important meeting dates to diarise

Meeting dates and venues are however subject to revision and we will attempt to ensure that any changes are included in this monthly e-Bulletin and on the SARPA website.

February 2012 

  • Branch meetings
    • Bushveld – 9 February 2012 [Mokopane]
    • Good Hope – 23 February 2012  [Vredendal]

March 2012 

  • Branch meetings
    • Namibia 7 March 2012 [Windhoek] N.B – registration of attendance requested by 16 December 2011.
    • KZN – 29 March 2012

April 2012 

  • Branch meeting
    • FS & NC – 12 April 2012

May 2012 

  • Branch meetings
    • Bushveld – 3 May 2012
    • Good Hope – 17 May 2012 [Wellington]

June 2012 

  • Branch meetings
    • KZN – 21 June 2012

July 2012 

  • 16th Annual SARPA Convention - 12 & 13 July 2012

August 2012 

  • Branch meetings
    • Bushveld – 2 August 2012
    • Good Hope – 16 August 2012 [Koeberg]
    • FS & NC – 23 August 2012

September 2012 

  • Nil

October 2012 

  • Nil

November 2012 

  • To be confirmed

SARPA interacts with Latin American Utilities

SARPA has once again explored new ground when an invitation was received from the organisers of the 2011 Metering Latin America Conference, in Sao Paolo, Brazil. It was requested that the Technical Advisor Mr. Rens Bindeman present a paper at the Water Summit and conduct a workshop at the Metering Billing CRM forum.

This interaction with Utilities abroad is seen to be directly in line with the Strategy of our President Mr. William Olivier and provides an excellent chance to meet other role players and learn from their experiences. It was good to see SARPA affiliate members like Conlog, Itron, GEC and Landis &Gyr present as well as the suppliers of the plastic seals we are currently utilising in the country.

It was clear that the event was predominantly attended by Utilities from Brasilia. The language barrier once again proved to be a challenge and seeing that I have managed to learn the art of making jokes and then waiting for the translator to finish laughing, before we can carry on, helped a lot to keep the audience interested. Both interactions were very successful and the organisers declared afterwards that our contribution was once again one of the highlights of the event that formed a very valuable part of their program.

Apart from the fact that Sao Paolo is the 5th  largest City in the world and that it is impossible to reach any place without a taxi, which is very expensive, I learnt that prepaid metering has never really got off the ground in Brazil. The pilot site was apparently not successful due to various reasons of which the most important one was the fact that there are no regulations in place to authorize such implementation. Another interesting bit of information is that Southern America Utilities are busy developing a smart metering Standard and they have already completed the first phase and are now in the process of forming task teams to analyze the different aspects. Finally we got the opportunity to listen to a motivational speech by Brasilia’s only astronaut Marcos Pontes regarding the fact that if you have dreams, you can achieve it by hard work and determination.

We would like to use this opportunity to thank Conlog representatives for once again providing the SARPA representative support from their stand at the Conference. We would also like to thank Mr. Adriano Rheede from Clarion / Spintelligent for inviting and sponsoring SARPA to take part in this wonderful event. He has also promised to identify more opportunities for SARPA to take part at some of their other events in the future.
Overall it should once again be noted that SARPA is seen worldwide as a leader in the field of Revenue Protection. We are also the only Revenue protection Association in the world that addresses the full spectrum of revenue loss issues in Electricity distribution, water distribution, financial credit control, data management and the combating of non ferrous thefts. Furthermore, the training and guidance we provide to our members and the way we plan to assist ailing Service Providers with our Revenue Recovery project is leaving utility officials abroad speechless.

We have written articles for the International Revenue Protection Associations fall newsletter and the AMEU news regarding these aspects and hope to once again receive many mails from Utilities who request assistance or guidance in this regard

Rens Bindeman
Technical Advisor

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