Did you know Independent Power Producers were the first to produce electricity in South Africa with Kimberley switching on its first street lights in 1882? The first power stations were built in the late 1890s to supply electricity to the gold mining industry, and by 1915 four thermal power stations had been built to meet the rising demand from the mines and the new mining towns. The journey to the country’s current energy landscape had begun.
South Africa’s utility company, Eskom, was established through the Power Act in 1910. This Act defined electricity as a public service and it went further to give the government the power to expropriate private electricity initiatives that were already in place. In 1922 the Electricity Act of 1922 stimulated the supply of cheap electricity, and this then implied that the electricity industry would be regulated, controlled and run by a parastatal.
Eskom was then established as the Electricity Supply Commission through a government Gazette of 6 March 1923.
Eskom started building power stations to supply low-cost electricity. The demand for electricity increased and so did the Eskom activities. This growth was mainly driven by the growth in the mining and industrial sector as well as urban development.
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