Transnet declares force majeure following cyber attack across SA

By John Viljoen and Felix Njini

(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s state-owned ports operator declared force majeure at the country’s key container terminals following continued disruption caused by a cyber attack five days ago.

Transnet SOC Ltd. said the declaration covers its terminals in the ports of Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town because of the “security intrusion and sabotage” that accompanied the July 22 attack, according to a notice sent to customers and seen by Bloomberg News. The issues “continue to persist,” the company said.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the incident and the extent of the data-security breach and sabotage, it said. Transnet is taking “all available and reasonable mitigation measures” to limit the impact from the disruption. Container terminals are operating, but at a slower place pace. A manual system for moving containers on and off vessels has been adopted.

This is the second time this month that Transnet’s port operations have been disrupted. Earlier in July a week of deadly riots affected service levels in the ports of Durban and Richards Bay with the entire supply chain closed, including the roads leading into and out of the ports.

Transnet didn’t immediately respond to calls, email and text messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Force majeure is an unanticipated or uncontrollable event that releases a company from fulfilling contractual obligations.

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