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Transnet expects to lift force majeure at port terminals ‘soon’

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Transnet expects to lift force majeure at port terminals ‘soon’

Photo of the Durban Container Terminal
Photo by Creamer Media
The Durban Container Terminal

27th July 2021

By: Creamer Media Reporter

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State-owned freight logistics group Transnet, whose operations have been seriously disrupted by recent unrest and a major cyberattack, confirmed on Tuesday that Transnet Port Terminals had communicated a force-majeure declaration with customers on Monday July 26, covering the period from July 22 when its information technology (IT) network was breached.

In a statement, the group said that “significant progress” had been made to restore its IT systems, with most of the affected applications reinstated by Monday.

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The group also stated that the salaries of Transnet employees had been processed on schedule.

“A force majeure, communicated by Transnet Port Terminals on 26 July 2021 to customers, covering the period from 22 July 2021, is expected to be lifted soon,” the statement reads, adding that a further update would be provided only once full operations resumed.

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Reuters reported that the force majeure was impacting container terminals in Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and was justified on the basis of “an act of cyberattack, security intrusion and sabotage” which has disrupted normal processes.

All operating systems would be brought back in a staggered manner, “to minimise further risks and interruptions” and some applications might continue to run slowly over the coming few days.

At the ports, each container terminal had communicated its transition plan from manual operation to the full NAVIS-driven operation, Transnet added.

“The terminals are berthing vessels as planned and facilitating loading and discharge operations with the shipping lines.

“We will continue to work directly with shipping lines in order to facilitate maximum import evacuation and further exports planned for future vessels.

“Controls have been developed, in conjunction with the shipping lines and the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS’) customs division to ensure safe clearance and evacuation of each container.”

Transnet said that business continuity plans had enabled Transnet Freight Rail to continue using manual backup operations and running trains as planned.

“We have requested customers with cross-border traffic and where the SARS clearance process is applicable, to submit hard copies of the SARS clearance documentation with their consignment noted at the Order Entry Office/Terminals.

“This will assist in the manual system application to authorise the departure of trains.”

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