CUSTOMERS who cannot afford to refill an entire gas cylinder now have the option of buying nominal amounts of Afrox liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at a Pay as you Gas™ station.
PayGas developed a proprietary technology that fractions gas purchases into smaller quantities, making the purchase process more flexible and affordable to low-income households in South Africa. The technology is powered by a pay-as-you-go USSD software payment platform combined with a cashless refilling station and mobile app, connected to a barcode on customers’ cylinders. PayGas users can purchase a prepaid voucher via their cell phone at any spaza shop or the closest Pay as you Gas™ station, and use the PayGas app to fill their Afrox Safety Gas cylinder, totally or partially, for as little as R10, at a Pay as you Gas™ station.
Oftentimes, low income households cannot afford to swap an empty cylinder for a full sealed one before their next pay, forcing thousands of individuals across the country to revert to alternative sources such as paraffin, charcoal, wood or expensive grid electricity.
PayGas has already rolled out a pilot Pay-as-you-Gas™ station in Delft, Cape Town, servicing more than 4 000 low-income residents in the township. “With Afrox’s LPG supply, support and expertise, we can now execute on an ambitious plan to roll out several Pay-as-you-Gas™ stations catering to close to 200 000 customers across major townships in South Africa in the next 36 months,” says Philippe Hoeblich, Founder and CEO at PayGas. “I founded PayGas in response to a gaping need for flexible affordable cooking energy for lower income households in urban areas in South Africa and we can’t wait to execute on our ambitious plans to cater to more households in more cities in the country.”
Together with Afrox and through a micro-franchising with Pick n Pay Market Stores owners, PayGas plans to roll out five new Pay-as-you-Gas™ stations within the next six weeks, including Philippi Village, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa and Kayamandi. PayGas will also roll out three additional stations in Johannesburg, and two in Durban during 2021.
Afrox will install LPG dumpy tank storage vessels at each Pay-as-you-Gas™ station, shaped in a unique ready-to-use container developed by PayGas, and supply each station with approximately 2 500 cylinders to ensure sufficient cylinder stock. Afrox’s lighter and more portable 5 kg Safety Gas cylinders were specifically chosen for this market where residents often have to carry cylinders from gas depots to their homes.