Fear of running out of gasoline and food has gripped South Africans on the sixth day of violence that has already left 72 people dead, against a backdrop of endemic unemployment and new anti-Covid restrictions.
At dawn, queues stretched out in front of petrol stations and food stores, particularly in Durban, in Kwazulu-Natal (east).
The day before, the country's largest refinery closed its plant in the region, which supplies about a third of the fuel consumed in the country.
Our correspondent said the military had doubled the number of troops deployed to quell the violence.
"The initial forces on the ground, from the military, were 2500 troops. That number has now been increased to 5000," said Mark Roughton in Cape Town.
On Wednesday morning, at least 72 deaths had been confirmed.