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Electricity House

A decision made by Dr van der Bijl that Johannesburg was the heart of the financial and business world of South Africa, the Headquarters of ESCOM derived directly from the provision in the Electricity Act that the Commission cold, albeit with the approval of the then Governor-general, issued public loans.

A second consideration was that the prestigious and powerful Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company (VFP) had its headquarters in Johannesburg and van der Bijl considered it imperative to build up the prestige of ESCOM at close quarters to its formidable “rival”.

Thus the modest three-storied building at 82 Marshall Street became the headquarters of ESCOM and was immediately named Electricity House to inform Johannesburg and South Africa of the business and identity of the undertaking as against the relative anonymity of the VFP, which was content to lease offices from a mining house and get on with the business of supplying power to the mines.

​For thirteen years Electricity House remained the headquarters of ESCOM while the Commission steadily expanded its activities and as a result increase in staff at the headquarters made larger accommodation imperative.  A site was purchased on the corner of Main and Rissik streets Johannesburg where ESCOM House was built.​


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