1921 - 1951

The First 30 Years

1921 - 1951


The company was founded on April 21, 1921 in Johannesburg, South Africa by Dr. Francis Edgar Kanthack, C.M.G., M.I.C.E, D.Sc. (Eng). Dr. Kanthack already had a distinguished career in the service of three governments (British, Indian and South African), ending up as the Director of Irrigation for the Union of South Africa, a post he held from 1911 to 1920. At the age of 49, he decided to set up as a Consulting Engineer, operating as a sole practitioner as FE Kanthack.

Early clients included South African Railways, the Victoria Falls Power Company, the Electricity Supply Commission (Eskom), various municipalities, the Anglo American Corporation, the Industrial Steel Corporation and other industrial and mining concerns.


TC (Tom) Watermeyer became a partner and the company became FE Kanthack and Partners. The principle areas of expertise were in Water Resources, natural draught cooling towers, thermal power stations and hydroelectric power stations in Southern Africa.


GHH (Hugh) Legge joined the partnership where he strengthened structural design and power station construction expertise.


Dr. Kanthack retired at the age of 78. TC Watermeyer assumed the running of the company and was faced with the challenge of post-war staffing problems and the expansion of municipal and ESCOM thermal power stations in Southern Africa.