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The Fifth Decade


1963 - New Chairman, Dr RL Straszacker takes the helm of the organisation. Sabie River Power Station (ESCOM's first) is decommissioned.

1964 - The Electricity Act is amended allowing ESCOM to supply neighbouring countries.

1966 - ESCOM introduces South Africa's first dry-cooling towers at Grootvlei Power Station. Rosherville becomes a site housing central stores.

1967 - Camden Power Station begins commercial service.

1969 - ESCOM and the Portuguese government sign an agreement for the building of the Cabora Bassa Hydro-electricscheme in Mozambique.

A contemporary view of Apollo Substation, installed in 1973


1970: Gariep Dam (formerly Hendrik Verwoerd) is completed.

1971 - The Electricity Amendment Act allows ESCOM to divert a percentage of revenue to a newly createdCapital Development Fund (CDF). The act also allows ESCOM to group the generating stations of two or more undertakings, paving the way for the establishment of the Central Generating Undertaking.
1972 - It is decided that ESCOM will build its first nuclear power station, Koeberg.  Electricity sales to the mining industry comprise 35% of ESCOM's total sales.

1973 - The national grid, a 25 000 km network of power lines is completed.

Gariep Hydroelectric Power Station, situated below the Gariep Dam wall