Five generators you can buy right now to beat load shedding – but you may have to move fast

Business Insider SA

Price review

  • It won't be easy, but you can still get your hands on a residential generator this weekend, or by mid next week.
  • Stock has been moving fast since Stage 6 load shedding hit, but we tracked down in-stock generators for home use in just about every price class.
  • For some you'll have to wait a day or two before you can collect, and in other cases you may have to wait for delivery.
  • Here's where you can still find a generator for sale in South Africa right now.
  • For more stories go to

When Stage 6 load shedding hit, generators started flying off the shelves.

But if you know where to look – and you aren't too picky about price – you can still get your hands on a home-sized generator this weekend, or by the middle of next week.

It won't necessarily be as easy as walking into a store; chains such as Buco were effectively flatly sold out by early Friday afternoon. But suppliers such as Ryobi sell direct, while the Game-Builders-Makro group has stock of various types of generators in specific chains and stores.

See also | MTN urgently wants to buy generators from small businesses, amid ‘aggressive rollout’

You can also shop online, if you don't need a generator right this second. 

Here are some residential-use generators that were in stock at the time of publication.

Ryobi's two-stroke RG-950: R2,350 from Builders (don't bother with Game)

The Ryobi RG-950 generator

Earlier this week, you could get the RG-950 from a number of Game stores at a promotional R2,000. By Friday, that stock was gee oh en ee gone.

This is very much an entry-level little generator, with a 4-litre tank and an output of 650 Watts, which won't help too much for too long. But then, it comes at the cost of just a couple of tanks of fuel for a car.

It comes with a two-year guarantee, but you'll have to mix your own two-stroke fuel.

Builders had a handful left at the time of publication, but history suggests that can't last. But if you pay R2,550, Ryobi will let you collect one of the dozens it has in stock in Gauteng, or you can wait up to a week for delivery. 

Grip's 5.5 kVA: R10,000 from Makro (delivery only)

A Grip generator

The mid-sized petrol generator from Grip (petrol, recoil-start) is on special at Makro for R10,000, with stock available – but that is an online-only deal.

Builders sells the same thing for R10,500, except you can go to a store and collect it immediately.

Last we checked, that was true for a fair number of Builders stores around the country, but don't hold us to that. 

The Ryobi 7.5kVA RG-7900K: R13,000 from Builders

A Ryobi generator

The (four-stroke) petrol RG-7900K is on special at Builders until 18 July.

It is rated to run for 20 hours at a time, with a 25-litre tank and key start from a 12-volt battery, plus overload protection on its two sockets.

When last we checked, you could get it at Builders stores, and generators at that kind of price weren't selling out too fast. But if you can wait for delivery, you'll have more luck: at R14,500, Ryobi says it has nearly 200 of them in stock.

Tiger TNG8000AE 1PH 6kVA: R17,000 via Takealot

Tiger generator

By early Friday afternoon, we could find exactly one generator that Takealot said it had in stock in both Johannesburg and Cape Town: the TNG800AE "Tiger", sold by AC/DC Dynamics for just over R17,000.

That means you should be able to collect it the same day or next day in the big centres, and get it before the week is out.

Takealot also has some stock, in either Johannesburg or Cape Town but not both, of a range of other generators, if you can wait at least as long as it will take for them to set up your collection.

Gen-Tech 3.2kVA diesel: R20,000 from Leroy Merlin in Gauteng, or pretty fast delivery

A Gentech generator

When we checked, French hardware chain Leroy Merlin had nine of these popular electric-start diesel generators in stock.

Its small chain of stores is only in Gauteng, but it will deliver for a pretty small fee, and pretty fast. 

At 3.2 kVA, this Gentech is at the bottom end of the range typically recommended to run an entire average house – but it has enough power to keep freezers frozen as well as lights and entertainment systems going.

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