Johannesburg, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- November 6, 2007 – The establishment of new regional revenue protection associations and regional training centers for revenue protection training are on the cards in Africa, following a proposal from the South African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA) to expand its activities into the rest of the continent.

While previous efforts to establish a pan-African revenue protection body proved unsuccessful, the current initiative, proposed by SARPA representative Rens Bindeman at the recent annual conference of the Power Institute for East and Southern Africa (PIESA), has attracted widespread support so far.

The proposal is that all the countries of southern Africa, from Tanzania south, should be incorporated into the present SARPA structures and become branches of SARPA. All of the countries north of Tanzania up to Sudan should be incorporated into a new association, known as the Central African Revenue Protection Association (CARPA), and all of the countries to the north of Sudan should be incorporated into another new association, known as the Northern African Revenue Protection Association (NARPA).

It was also proposed that the Kafue Gorge management training facility in Zambia be identified as the center of revenue protection management training courses for PIESA countries. Other training centers were identified as possible venues in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in South Africa.

Bindeman reported that at the PIESA event he met all the key role players from the different member utilities and found that there was common ground between their objectives and those of SARPA in trying to promote knowledge sharing and training, and that following the presentation of the SARPA proposals, the cooperation and willingness to assist in reaching these was really outstanding.

Champions for the expansion of SARPA as a southern African regional association and for the formation of the CARPA and NARPA are being identified. Bindeman will champion and coordinate the training network throughout Africa, with the short term goal of completing at least two courses during 2008.

“I think we have definitely ‘struck gold’ this time and the right people are motivated to make these initiatives work,” says Bindeman.

Among other outcomes from the meeting the PIESA Non-Technical Loss Reduction work group agreed to put some effort into assisting member utilities to install prepaid split metering as a solution to revenue loss management.