South Africans should brace themselves for what could be the most difficult winter as electricity supply remained constrained, the Public Enterprise Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Saturday.
"We need to worry about how we are going to go through this winter," Gigaba said.
He was speaking to residents in Kliptown, Soweto where he was encouraging community members to pay for their electricity and to report illegal connections.
This was part of the 49M energy saving campaign.
Gigaba urged the public to continue with basic electricity saving habits like switching off geysers between 5pm and 9pm.
"We need to change our behaviour... instead of using heaters people should rather use blankets."
He told residents that with Eskom reaching 40 million new connections last year, it meant by 2017, South Africa would have to have more power stations to meet the growing demand.
"We are still confident that we will, in partnership with all South Africans and with more business joining the partnership, succeed to keep the lights on until we get out of this difficult situation," said Gigaba.
He finally asked residents to observe Earth Hour on Saturday evening by switching off lights and appliances between 8.30pm and 9.30pm.