Vaal Triangle History
1889 - 1902
Klip Power Station
1939 - 1945
The Transvaal Colonial Government viewed the provision of electricity as a public service and introduced the Power Act on 28 May 1910, which limited the future existence of the VFP. The Act authorised the operational expansion of the VFP, but provided for the State’s expropriation of the company, or any other electricity undertaking, after a period of 35 years.
With the persuasion of Sammy Marks (who pointed out the advantages of siting a power station next to the coal fields), the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited decided to erect a power station on the banks of the Vaal River at Vereeniging. The power station was completed in 1912 and was equipped with two 9.6 MW sets, with a further two 12 MW sets being added in 1913. The electricity generated was transmitted 36 miles on a high voltage line to the Witwatersrand at a voltage of 80 kV. Coal was supplied from the nearby Cornelia Colliery at Viljoensdrift.
Electricity for 107 houses in the ‘more affluent suburb of Market Street’ was only connected to the VFP power supply main in 1921. Between 1923 and 1933, the Vereeniging Power Station was extended four times giving it a generating capacity of 140 MW and making it one of the largest stations in the British Empire at that time. The power station was hailed as a major success for the growing industries around Vereeniging, the only problem occurring during a stormy night in December 1925, when one of the plant’s 10 MW generators suffered a mechanical failure. The generator was ripped apart, and the core of the machine tore through the roof and landed 2 miles away on the Free State side of the Vaal River.
The increase in the price of gold in 1933 led to the expansion of the mines and a rapid growth in the demand for electricity which stretched the VFP to the limits of its capacity. In 1934, the Vereeniging Estates induced the VFP to build a second power station in Vereeniging by allowing its land on the Klip River to become the site for the Klip Power Station.
The site was adjacent to a new colliery shaft of the old Springfield Colliery (owned by Amalgamated Collieries, a subsidiary of Vereeniging Estates) from which coal could be mechanically fed directly into the bunkers.