A voice message circulating on social media about a nationwide fuel shortage and the closure of gas stations on Friday is fake news, the Fuel Retailers Association (FRA) assured.
The FRA said: Zululand Observer it would be business as usual for gas stations.
SA Petroleum Industry Association spokesperson Cindy-Lee Maneveld told: Pretoria Rekord they were not aware of the hoax before, but as far as they knew it was fake news.
Automobile Association (AA) spokesman Layton Beard told the publication they were not aware of a planned shutdown.
The sound bite went viral on Thursday morning, with a woman warning that the shutdown would begin on Friday and could last into the weekend.
The unidentified woman said people had to fill their tanks, sparking widespread panic among commuters and motorists.
This combined with a recent increase in fuel price and ongoing uncertainty over fuel availability, due to the conflict in Ukraine, has sparked a wave of concern.
Earlier this week, rumors circulated about possible rising petrol prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The spike in Brent crude price showed no signs of decline.
André Thomashausen, emeritus professor of international law at Unisa, said a worst-case scenario for South Africa would be a fuel price of R40 per litre.
Political economy analyst Piet Croucamp told The The Vanir-exodus while oil and gas prices have been rising for months, this particular rise would not be due to the fringe, but in general to the instability that could potentially spill over into the markets.
Croucamp also said Russian oil may not lead to shortages globally, sanctions against Russia would destabilize markets.
“Governments must act quickly to deal more effectively with the price of fuel to reduce the rising costs that are negatively impacting all consumers in the country,” said the AA’s Beard.
“Our economy is closely linked to the price of fuel; it is a major input cost in the manufacturing, retail and agricultural sectors.
“We have previously noted that a review of the current fuel price structure and an audit of all elements that make up the fuel price should be done sooner rather than later.”
Edited and composed by Nica Richards.