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14/10/2015: The Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities (AMEU) launches centenary coffee table book
14 October 2015
As part of its centenary celebrations, the Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities (AMEU) Southern Africa has launched a coffee table book that documents the history of electricity in South Africa and details the timeline of the Association’s 100-year contribution to the development of the electricity sector in South Africa.

The AMEU is an association of municipal electricity distributors as well as national, parastatal, commercial, academic and other organisations that have a direct interest in the electricity supply industry in Southern Africa

The book provides an interesting and insightful read, not only on the history of the Association, and paints a vivid picture in words and pictures of the era in which the Association was born.

It tracks the organisation’s existence from 1915 to 2015, and details the Association’s key contributions to the development of the electricity sector in South Africa.

The AMEU centenary book provides a rich narrative of some of the industry’s regulatory frameworks and some of the attributes that led to the introduction of regulation in the electrification industry. It also provides amusing and interesting ideas and concepts proposed over 80 years ago, in particular the proposal to develop an electric toilet!

The book also gives insights into the attributes that have enabled the organisation to sustain itself over the last 100 years, from World War 1 through to World War 2, and from pre-apartheid South Africa right through to democracy in our country.

For example, the book documents AMEU’s contribution in shaping policy framework, from the first Electricity Act of 1922 which paved the way for the establishment of Eskom, to its proposals for the establishment of a national standard for voltage and frequency, to the enactment of the first laws that regulated wiring and contracting to enhance the safe usage of electricity.

The book maps the genesis of the Association from the time where there were no cars or traffic lights, to the introduction of traffic lights, the first houses to be electrified and the first townships to have access to electricity.

Says Sicelo Xulu, President of AMEU: “This book documents a rich heritage of the milestones the electricity industry has achieved in South Africa over the last century. For example, not many people are aware that Kimberley was the first city in the southern hemisphere to have electrified street lights ahead of London. This book is a rich source of reference that can be used by academia and is a celebration of 100 years of excellence. It is a reminder of the importance on building on the achievements that we have attained in the last hundred years.”

From the age of barter trade and horse carts to fast cars, microwaves and steam irons, to the digital era of mobile communication and alternative energies, the AMEU has seen it all and lives to tell the tale, stronger than ever.

“It’s a must read for any organisation with the ambition to sustain itself for 100 years and beyond,” Xulu concludes.


For further information visit

Issued by
Hloni Motloung
City Power
071 637 7990

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Last Updated on 14 October 2015