A WhatsApp voice note claiming there will be a national shutdown of all petrol stations in SA on Friday, July 27, has been rubbished as ‘fake news’ by members of the petrol industry.
In the voice note, which has been widely circulated on the social messaging network since this morning, a woman can be heard purporting that no petrol stations across the country will be operational on Friday . She also urges all motorists to fill up their tanks on Thursday “as there will be no petrol at stations on Friday through to Saturday and Sunday”.
Gavin Smith of Engen South Africa said he had already fielded several calls relating to the “inaccurate” voice note. He refuted the claims, saying they were “simply not true”.
BP South Africa’s Nelisiwe Masina said there were no truth to the allegations.
Several managers at petrol stations across Cape Town echoed that it would be business as usual come Friday.
Meanwhile, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, JP Smith, said he received queries from members of the public about similar viral messages on a daily basis – many of which had no validity.
“I’ve actually started to become cynical about the validity of such messages… they’re often inaccurate, and seem to be nothing more than a calculated destabilisation campaign to drive up anxiety and fear,” Smith said. “I don’t want to add weight to a message such as this which has an anonymous origin, but the majority of the times these voice notes do nothing more than promote fear mongering.”