​Dr Bernard Price

​Dr Bernard Price

Born in England in 1887, Bernard Price came to South Africa in 1909 to take up his appointment as Chief Engineer of the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited (VFP).

He progressed to be General Manager of the company in 1926 and was appointed Resident Director in 1936. He remained in that position until the VFP assets were taken over by ESCOM in 1948. Many regard him as “the father of electricity supply in South Africa.”

Bernard Price was respected locally and internationally for his technical expertise. His interest in the sciences led to him establishing the Bernard Price Institute for Geophysical Research and the Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research at the University of the Witwatersrand.

In recognition for serving as Chairman of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Social and Economic Council during the First World War, the OBE (Order of the British Empire) was conferred on Bernard Price in 1920. The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) conferred an Honorary degree of Doctor of Science in 1935. The Institute of Electrical Engineers founded the Bernard Price Memorial Lecture in his honour. The lecture is held jointly with Wits and delivered by specially invited eminent scientists or engineers from all parts of the world.


• Bozzoli G R, Forging Ahead – South Africa’s Pioneering Engineers, Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg, 1997.

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