Troubled state power utility Eskom said  it would  cut power for the second consecutive night on Wednesday to allow emergency reserves to be replenished to levels that can meet daytime demand.

Eskom, which supplies 90% of SA’s power, has been battling to keep the lights despite a lull in demand over the festive period.

It had already cut power overnight on Tuesday, and said it would need to do the same again after a further loss of generation capacity meant emergency reserves had to be used during the daytime.

“In the event that we lose other generation units or are unable to bring back those that were out for maintenance, load-shedding may be implemented during the day,” it said in a statement.

It said up to 2,000MW would be cut from the system from 9pm to 8am, adding that the power system was still “constrained and vulnerable” with 13,534MW of its 44,000MW total nominal capacity offline due to breakdowns.

Eskom’s woes are a major headache for President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has promised to revive sluggish growth. It is widely seen as the biggest risk to the economy.

New CEO Andre de Ruyter will oversee a government plan to split the company into separate units for generation, transmission and distribution to improve its performance.