File photo: Mike Hutchings

Johannesburg - A power emergency was declared for a second consecutive day on Thursday, Eskom said.

“Eskom declared an emergency at about 4pm,” spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.

“This is because of significantly higher electricity demand associated with the cold weather which has moved into the Gauteng province.”

He said there was a high risk of deliberate power cuts.

Earlier, the power utility said the capacity available to meet Thursday evening’s peak demand was 34,265 MW (including open cycle gas turbines), while demand was forecast at 35,080 MW.

Current planned maintenance stood at 3660 MW.

In order to avoid deliberate power cuts, Eskom asked electricity users to switch off non-essential appliances between 5pm and 9pm.

It asked commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and office blocks, to switch off non-essential lights.

The parastatal said if the cuts became necessary it would use the published schedules available on its website.

The power utility declared a power emergency on Wednesday night.