Money and Markets

Here’s what it will cost to buy or rent a generator during the current bout of load shedding

Business Insider SA
  • As load shedding hits South Africa for the first time in months, businesses and households may be considering emergency power alternatives.
  • Other things may be in short supply, but SA is pretty well stocked with generators.
  • This is how much you can expect to pay to buy some of the most popular generators around, or rent one. 
  • For more articles, go to

As load shedding hits South Africa for the first time in months, households and businesses stuck in the dark (and cold) may start to consider alternative options. 

During previous bouts of load shedding, second-tier generators proved popular. These can provide 60 kilovolt-amps (KVa) to 500 KVa, enough to power small malls, restaurants, and refrigerators in the food industry.

According to Generator King, a 80 Kva generator will currently cost you up to R180,000, while a 100 Kva – good for many types of restaurants – will cost you up to R220,000, before VAT.

Smaller generators, suitable for home use, go for anything between R2,000 and R40,000 to buy. Builders Warehouse currently stock generators ranging between R4,000 for a 1.2 Kva generator to R30,000 for a 7Kva generator. (Be warned, the chain is warning of potential delays when ordering online.)

Sister store Makro has a 11 Kva generator with a decent-sized fuel tank selling for R39,999. (It is currently running a special on a variety of items, from inverters to lights, which may also help you set up for load shedding.)

BUCO's 10 Kva generators will set you back R43,279.

Other major stockist to check out – and watch for specials – include Game and Takealot. On Sunday, as part of its Daily Deals, Takealot sold a 4-stroke 5000W Ryobi generator for R8,499.

A 1.2Kva generator will allow you to charge your batteries, turn on your radio or run a television. The 7Kva, 10Kva and 11Kva generators will, depending on your home's total voltage, allow you to light it up as well as be able to use most appliances.

Unless you really know what you are doing, it is advisable to get advice from an electrician, starting with the size of generator you need – especially if you are running a business with expensive equipment.

If you are looking to hire a generator, that can start at around R400 a day

As with buying outright, the price of hiring a generator will differ vastly depending on how much power you need.

The cheapest quote Business Insider South Africa found this week was R390 a day for a 6.5 Kva generator, subject to a R1,500 deposit.

At the higher end, generators good for between 80 Kva and 100Kva can cost between R1,600 and R2,000 per day to hire.

An earlier version of this article appeared on July 1st.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: