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The Third Decade

Video Clip

1943 - ESCOM experiences a 1.2% decrease in demand for electricity. A ship carrying a turbo-generator for Congella Power Station is torpedoed and sinks.

1944 - With allied victory on the horizon demand grows again by 3.3%.  Port Shepstone Power Station commissioned.

1945 - Vaal Power Station comissioned

1946 - Congella B comissioned 

1947 - ESCOM takes over West Bank Power Station, the De Beers power station in Kimberley and purchases the King William's Town and Alice municipal undertakings.

1948 - Dr HJ vab der Bijl dies.  ESCOM takes over privately-owned VFP


Vaal Power Station's giant turbines

1949 - With the takeover of VFP. ESCOM's assets increase in value from '29 to '45 million.  The number of ESCOM staff increases from 2,692 to 7,850.  Mr Albert Jacobs is appointed Chairman of ESCOM.

1951 - ESCOM is granted a 30 million dollar loan for development by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 

1952 - Mr Albert Jacobs retires and is succeeded by Dr JT Hattingh. Construction begins on Hex River Power Station.

1953 - Construction of Vierfontein Power Station begins.  ESCOM agrees to sell Swartkops Power Station, still under construction, to Port Elizabeth municipality.  The deal is concluded in 1955.


East London's West Bank Power Station. By the late 1940s ESCOM had increased its capacity to 117MW