Clothing and grocery retailer Woolworths says it had to close all its KwaZulu-Natal stores for three days as operations have been impacted by continuing riots.
Parts of South Africa have been affected by looting, violence and property damage – this after protests over former president Jacob Zuma's incarceration escalated over the weekend.
Several retailers have been heavily affected and have had to shut down operations, some include Massmart, Cashbuild and Mr Price.
In a response to Fin24, Woolworths said it also had to close a number of stores in Gauteng; however, in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, it has been able to open stores on a case-by-case basis, once it was deemed safe and feasible to do so.
A food shortage is now looming as rioters upset supply chains by looting supermarkets and torching goods trucks. Empty food shelves have been seen all over social media as consumers rush to the stores to stock up on their supplies.
"We have also seen a marked increase in sales of certain products in store and online. We are working closely with our suppliers and partners to ensure ongoing availability and continuity of stock," said Woolworths.
Further, Woolworths said its ability to ensure ongoing availability of stock is "largely dependent on the re-opening of key transport routes, the ability of local suppliers to continue production, the ability of our staff to access our stores and the safety of our logistics and distribution operations".