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The Sixth Decade

1973 - Electricity demand grows by almost 12%.

1975 - A fault at Hydra substation affects the main line and cascades through the system, cutting the entire Cape Province off from the rest of the country.

1976 - The Soweto student uprising spreads, bringing international attention to apartheid. Black ESCOM employees become entitled to receive pensions. The artisan Recognition and Training Scheme is introduced to empower black employees.  ESCOM receives power from Cabora Bassa Hydro-electric Power Station in Mozambique.  Construction of Koeberg Power Station begins.

National Control Centre, Simmerpan


1977 - Megawatt Park ESCOM's new head office, is officially opened in November.

1978 - Loans to South Africa from the US Expoer-Import Bank are prohibited by the US government.

1979 - Construction of Kriel Poer Station iscompleted, making it the largest coal-fired power station in the Southern Hemisphere.

1980 - Mr Jan H Smith is appointed as ESCOM's new Chairman.

1981 - The Drakensberg pumped storage power station is completed.

1982 - A sabotage attack in the Koeberg plant delays its completion.

Kriel Power Station