Home News S.Africa’s port terminals restored following cyber-attack

S.Africa’s port terminals restored following cyber-attack

Published on July 29, 2021

Operating systems have been restored at South Africa’s state-owned logistics firm, the company said Thursday following a cyber-attack last week that hit the country’s key port terminals.

The attack began on July 22 and lasted for days, forcing Transnet to switch to manual systems.

Disruptions, which impacted exports and imports into the country, eventually pushed the company to declare a force majeure — a clause that prevents a party from fulfilling a contract because of external and unforeseen circumstances.

In an audio statement on Thursday the firm reassured that supply chains were back to normal.

“Transnet has managed to restore operations at the ports,” said Transnet spokeswoman, Ayanda Shezi.

She said the firm was collaborating with shipping lines to move urgent containers for the automotive and agricultural sectors, while rail operations were running on schedule.

The outage came on the heels of civil unrest sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma that halted operations for several days. But the government was quick to say it was “unrelated”.

The attack affected ports in Durban — the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa — as well as Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura.

“The return to operations is good news for the economy, as the Transnet ports and rail system are the backbone of the economy,” said the ministry of public enterprise in a statement.

“The vessels are operating alongside the berths and the shipping lines and cargo owners have partnered with the terminal management to ensure efficiencies are increasing,” the government said adding that Transnet and its customer data had not been compromised.

Transnet said it was working to improve weaknesses identified in its IT systems.