The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced that new regulations around the sale of fuel have been passed.
The new regulations prohibit retail sales of petroleum products to members of the public in portable containers. This includes both petrol and diesel.
This comes after the Sapref (Shell and BP South African Petroleum Refineries) refinery was closed in KwaZulu-Natal based on the ongoing riots in the province. The closure is only temporary and is based on riots blocking the routes usually taken to transport fuel products to other provinces.
Sapref is the largest crude oil refinery in the country, and its closure will have a ripple effect across the national supply chain for petroleum products, reports News24.
Panic buying has been the order of the day, with people queuing for hours to stock up on food items. Motorists have also been queuing at petrol stations to fill up their cars.
In a statement released by the Department, people have been discouraged from panic buying.
"The DMRE assures the nation that, while there are challenges with regards the movement of petroleum products to some parts of the country, there is sufficient product and government is working to secure the movement of all petroleum product. Thus, South Africans are discouraged from panic buying and hoarding, as this action will exacerbate the current challenges."
Image credit: Sunday Times Driving