Save electricity by sleeping earlier and boiling less water, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica told parliament yesterday.
"Go to sleep earlier so that you can grow and be cleverer. Boil less water, use the microwave rather than the stove, take a shower and not a shallow bath," she told a special sitting of parliament to discuss the power crisis.
She assured the country that power problems were no threat to the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
The minister was unveiling a 10-point plan to encourage South Africans to change the way they use electricity.
Amid heckling and jeering from opposition MPs, she criticised calls from "some quarters" to identify culprits and castigate them.
Sonjica was loudly jeered when she thanked the ANC for the leadership "it has provided in helping us deal with this emergency". She blamed the power crisis on the "country being part of the global village".
"There is a high demand of energy globally. China, in 13 of its provinces, has the same problem. The growth of India and China has had an impact."
She said energy markets in Ontario, Canada, had collapsed. "There have been blackouts in the US and Europe, and Brazil had gone through the same experience," she said.
"We are confident that we have the ability to turn around the situation. We reassure South Africans and the world that all our projects will be on course and that the 2010 Fifa World Cup is not under any threat." - Sapa