“Do not think it’s your neighbour’s responsibility to save power,” she told reporters in Bloemfontein on the state of the electricity system.
Mthombeni said saving energy had to become a way of life for South Africans, instead of people only responding once Eskom issued warnings.
Eskom Free State network manager Moeketsi Mathosa said the main time for power saving remained the 5pm to 9pm period.
“Residential customers can make the biggest difference here – switch off.”
Mathosa said cold weather spells were the biggest problem for the national electricity grid. He said the national power network was a highly dynamic system.
At times it would allow Eskom to warn of possible power cuts, while at other times it left no space for a warning.
“At these times the focus would be to manage the system on an immediate basis,” he said, which might lead to short power cuts.
Mathosa urged people to report illegal electricity connections.
“Illegal connections are unpredictable, and lead to overloading of the area’s system which threatens stability.”
Mathosa said if a community allowed illegal connections, Eskom could not guarantee quality and proper services.