VAAL TRIANGLE - So-called panic buying due to the large-scale looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng left shopping centers and filling stations empty. In Gauteng, groceries, petrol and diesel were bought in bulk. Numerous store shelves were empty by yesterday afternoon. Numerous shopping centers said the number of people in the stores even exceeded that of Black Friday. In response, acting minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni calls on people not to panic. This comes as shortages of food and fuel have been reported in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where violence and rioting have been raging. Ntshavheni says additional National Defence Force members have been deployed to help quell the chaos. Five thousand soldiers are now on the ground. She calls on people to avoid panic buying as government is working with the National Consumer Goods Council to ensure supply isn’t interrupted.
Meanwhile, the Automobile Association (AA) says there is no need for motorists to panic-buy as there is no official confirmation that there is a fuel shortage. This is after the country’s largest crude oil refinery, SAPREF, shut down operations amid the ongoing violence in KwaZulu-Natal. AA spokesperson, Layton Beard, says the closure of the Durban refinery might result in a shortage of fuel supply but that there were other suppliers which had not shut down. PHOTO: (Supplied)