Stage 8 would require up to 8,000 megawatts to be shed from the grid with potentially even longer hours without electricity.
Eskom has not yet gone beyond Stage 6, but many households and businesses are already facing electricity outages of more than 10 hours a day as the country faces its worst power crisis on record.
"This is going to be a very difficult winter," Scheppers said. He sought to ease fears of a national blackout, saying the risk was "very low".
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