Sir, I recall that sunny day in early March 1923 when it was announced in the government gazette that an Electricity Supply Commission (Escom) had been established under the chairmanship of Dr. Hendrik van der Bijl. £500 was borrowed from the treasury (which was rapidly repaid), and Escom set up an office in Johannesburg and set to work ensuring a cheap and abundant supply of electricity wherever it was needed in South Africa. That was ninety years ago. Since then, it has been a wild roller-coaster ride, times when both the “cheap” and “abundant” were either in oversupply or desperately short. Escom was an upstart, a minor also-ran in the industry, and there was plenty of competition… (more)

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