South Africans were recently braced for Stage 8 load shedding - more than half a day with no power - but De Ruyter told a virtual news conference on Sunday that that possibility is receding. He added that there was always an "inherent risk" it could get worse if further outages happen during peak demand.
"We would really urge South Africans to plan (evening) consumption such that ... we have reduced demand," he said. "Switch off air conditioners, only boil water that you need - don't fill the kettle up. These small steps will really make a difference."
Creaking coal-fired power stations, corruption in coal supply contracts, criminal sabotage and failure to ease up regulation to enable private providers to swiftly bring renewable energy on tap have all left South Africa in a deep power deficit.
Eskom's chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said that by the end of March, the firm should be able to bring 1,862 megawatts back online, and that it would focus on keeping its top six power stations running smoothly.
"We remain acutely aware of how our poor current performance is impacting the country," he said. "We are working tirelessly to address this."
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