Power utility Eskom on Wednesday called on consumers to switch off geysers, pool pumps and all non-e.
Mhaule, who was speaking during a press conference on school infrastructure in Nelspruit yesterday, announced that R692,387-million had been allocated to deal with 178 school projects this year. She said 70 of these schools were damaged as a result of storms.
Mhaule said the department conceded that there were schools experiencing overcrowding because of a shortage of classrooms.
She said some of these schools needed renovations and improvement of sanitation systems. Other areas needed new schools.
"Among these are schools which were constructed a long time ago, some by the then homeland governments and now require urgent attention. Most of these schools are in Bohlabela district under the Bushbuckridge municipality."
Mhaule said the department commissioned the education facilities management system to take stock of the state of habitability of schools throughout the province.
Mhaule said the department had entered into a contract with Abacus (a service provider for mobile classrooms) and that in the past two years 255 classrooms were dispatched.
She said the province had focused on fixing 254 unsafe schools and that only 20 remained to be fixed.
Infrastructure projects last year cost R620-million.