Blackouts drive up generator sales

2014-11-27 00:00

ESKOM’S blackout crisis has forced Pietermaritzburg businesses and residents to invest in generators as load shedding continues to hit hard.

Stores selling generators, torches, candles and LED ­rechargeable lights said there has been a high demand for these items in the past two weeks.

Sales manager at Makro Roshan Harripersad said they have recently been inundated with e-mails and calls from desperate people needing these products.

“The generator sales have increased dramatically. On a daily basis we receive requests from our customers not only asking about generators but about torches, batteries and LED rechargeable lights,” Harripersad said.

“We are well-stocked as companies need these products as a back-up when load shedding kicks in. We are always prepared.”

Sheryl Cooper of Hemingway’s Armature Winders and Electrical said they have had an increase in the number of generators brought in for repairs.

“Most generators that come in for repair to our workshop are related to overload damage, which means that one small generator is expected to run a full household’s electrical requirements,” she said.

Cooper advised that geysers and stoves need to be turned off during load shedding and only lighting, fridges and televisions kept on unless a generator that can cope with the amperage is purchased.

Vince Knott had to spend his hard-earned cash yesterday on a R8 000 generator, an expense that he said he was not prepared for.

“This is poor maintenance on Eskom’s side and is now getting ridiculous. This should not be happening. We are spending a chunk trying to maintain our lives,” he said.

Fathima Shake of Northdale echoed this, saying Eskom is continually failing and must quickly find a solution.

“I need a generator to keep household appliances in operation but I cannot afford one. Our food is decomposing in the fridge and we have no choice but to get rid of it,” she said.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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