10.08.13.A sunset shot of the Koeberg nuclear power plant next to Melkbosstrand near table View. Picture Ian Landsberg

Johannesburg - There was a distinct possibility of deliberate countrywide power cuts throughout the country on Thursday evening, Eskom said.

“We are still going to be short of capacity because a number of plants are out of service due to maintenance,” spokesman Andrew Etzinger said.

Cold weather usually led to an increased demand for electricity, putting strain on the national grid, he said.

On Wednesday night, deliberate power cuts took place countrywide after two units at the Duvha and Kendal power stations tripped and a portion of the capacity usually imported from Cahora Bassa became unavailable.

These power stations had been restored by Thursday afternoon.

Earlier Etzinger said the system was usually stable during the day.

“The trouble is in the early evening.”

Eskom appealed for reductions in electricity usage, particularly during the 6pm to 8pm peak period.

“Commercial customers, particularly shopping centres and office blocks, can make the biggest difference by switching off non-essential lights and not leaving office equipment such as photocopiers and computers in standby mode after hours.”