Transnet to lift force majeure on Monday

The declaration of the force majeure took effect from July 22 after a cyberattack. Stock photo.
The declaration of the force majeure took effect from July 22 after a cyberattack. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/maxxyustas

Transnet says it will lift the force majeure declared after a cyberattack by the port terminals operating division at container terminals in the ports of Cape Town, Durban, Ngqura and Gqeberha on Monday.

“Transnet believes it is now in a position to service its customers and meet all contractual obligations reliably,” the state-owned company said in a statement on Friday.

The declaration of the force majeure took effect from July 22 after the cyberattack resulted in operations having to be conducted manually — having a significant affect on the movement of goods.

The SA Meat Processors Association (Sampa) and SA Association of Meat Importers & Exporters (AMIE SA) on Thursday warned of “major backlogs for both exports and imports in the Durban port. The port is running short of space to store containers and running out of plug points used to keep containers cool, which will result in massive food wastage if not resolved immediately.”

The attack disabled container tracking systems, which effectively shut the container terminals. Some ships were diverted from SA ports during the systems outage.

Transnet spokesperson Ayanda Shezi said on Friday that the lifting of the force majeure follows the phased restoration of the NAVIS N4 terminal operating system across the container terminals.

“In terms of operations, port terminals will continue to apply the berthing principles of the container operations contract in the container terminals. This is currently the most practical way of normalising operations and maintaining a complementary port schedule for shipping lines,” said Shezi.

“Transnet wishes to thank its customers and stakeholders for their collaboration and support following the events of the past week.”

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