Chillier days are ahead South Africa. Besides the winter cold snap, power utility Eskom warned on Thursday morning that the “possibility of load shedding during evening peak is high” and urged the public to reduce electricity usage.

The power alert comes as the South African Weather Service also advised on Wednesday of “bitterly cold, wet and windy weather” affecting parts of the country from Thursday and heading into the weekend.

Eskom said that it is “working hard to return generating units to service” in the wake of its power generation system being “severely constrained”.

“One generation unit at the Tutuka power station tripped, while another one was taken off the grid, as well as a unit at Lethabo. The return to service of a generation unit each at Duvha and Kendal power stations have been delayed.  All of these have added significant pressure to the generation system,” it said in a statement.

“Any additional breakdowns will compromise Eskom’s ability to supply the country through the peak demand period of 17:00 – 21:00. This constrained supply situation may persist through the weekend,” it added.

“We urge the public’s co-operation in managing demand in order to help us avoid load-shedding and supply the country’s demand through the peak periods,” it reiterated.