The Magic of Pre-Pay

I am messing up the blog chronologically, but there is something that has come up that is worth addressing for any student looking to study in Cape Town in the future (or anyone coming to visit for that matter).

In the States, a residence is set up with an electricity account on credit. Usage is billed monthly after the fact. Internet is paid for as a connectivity. While some businesses have usage limits, we on the whole blithely surf with minimal understanding of how much we are using.

That is not how it works in South Africa.

It turns out that our electricity metre works on units. This may or may not translate directly to kilowatt hours, something about which I (and I am willing to bet many students much younger than myself) am still pretty clueless. Our metre was flashing low, running out of credits. When you are out, the power just shuts off completely. Fortunately, our landlord happened to be here taking care of some issues (sweet sweet hot water in the shower from here on out!) and noticed. He could translate what that meant and help me get it resolved for our household before we spent the night in the dark. While two of us have lived without electricity before, the others are a bit more first world.

Internet is pay-as-you-go as well. There's nothing like anticipating how much internet one will use. Speaking of which, I may have to be more terse in my photo-posting to this blog going forward. But we shall see.

Things to be aware of...


UPDATE: Naturally, the universe likes trends. In researching to which bank I will entrust my monetary reserves, I have discovered that there are actually pay-as-you-go bank accounts. Yup! It apparently works with the fact that they just charge you for every transaction you are possibly going to make to access or do anything with your money. Or you can pre-pay!