In this climate, it’s not surprising that people are looking for tips on how to save money – and might be quick to anger at useless advice.
This seems to be the case with a quote attributed to South African deputy minister of transport, suggesting that “there are proven fuel saving methods that have been used by South Africans for decades, like ‘Switching your lights off when driving at night.’”
The quote was shared on Facebook on 22 March. In 48 hours it reached 134,600 views and was reposted more than 1,300 times.
But did minister Lydia Sindisiwe Chikunga say such a silly and downright dangerous thing?
Debunked by Africa Check in 2019
If our alarm bells were ringing, we soon remembered why. There is no evidence Chikunga made this statement, as Africa Check debunked in 2019.
The exact same graphic was being shared on Facebook in May 2019, and we reached out to the minister then. She was happy to set the record straight.
“I’m happy that you are asking me about it,” Chikunga said. “I wouldn't have under any circumstances said something like that. It is a lie.”
The fake quote appears to have originated with the now-defunct fake news site “News Updates SA”.
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.