POWER choice not an option

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Homeowners and businesses are being forced to generate their own electricity as blackouts strike everywhere, but suppliers are running out of generators and many don't expect new stocks for weeks.

David Cooksley, a generator engineer and supplier in Johannesburg, said he has run out of stock and even the parts to build them.

Desperate clients have paid for generators he cannot complete because he does not have the cages he mounts them in.

"We can't find supplies, alternators, bars, you name it.

"There is nothing in the country to build new generators with and this spells a waiting period of about eight weeks," he said.

The manager of Uri's Hardware in central Johannesburg said the demand for generators has rocketed since last Monday.

"The demand is far greater than what we can supply."

He said 99percent of the phone calls he receives are from anxious people who want to know about generators.

"It is nice to get calls, but to explain the same thing over and over again the whole day long, is a different story," he said.

Cooksley, who builds generators for household use and for big companies, said an entry-level generator of 6000w would cost about R7900.

"And this is only a baby generator that would require the user to juggle appliances."

A high-end generator that would power geysers, stoves, appliances, plugs and lights would cost about R33000.

"This would be able to run everything at once, but each household is different and uses different appliances," he said.

Cooksley said generator suppliers are flourishing as many small businesses fear they will be forced to close because of load shedding.

"And this is going to last a couple of years because clearly Eskom does not have ideas."

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