OperationsPorts and Logistics

Durban and Richards Bay port activity picks up following civil unrest

Service levels in the ports of Durban and Richards Bay have improved slightly since the start of yesterday’s working shifts, South Africa’s logistics group Transnet said in an update on Friday.

Port and terminal operations are slowly beginning to normalise as the number of employees reporting for shifts starts to increase following the restoration of public transport in parts of KwaZulu-Natal province.

Transnet informed that the Port of Richards Bay has managed to clear all shipping backlogs. Terminal operations at the Port of Durban continue to improve and marine services have been going ahead throughout the disruptions.

Norwegian P&I club Gard reported yesterday, citing Durban P&I Associates, that force majeure was declared for the Durban port and that various private terminals have followed suit and issued their own force majeure notices. Transnet spokesperson, Ayanda Shezi, told Splash that “there’s no force majeure declared at the port of Durban.”

Nevertheless, road closures to Durban still prevent trucks from accessing the port and the supply chain remains under pressure, resulting in backlogs. The Natcor rail line linking Durban to other major cities like Johannesburg remains suspended as remnants of the looting are strewn along the railway.

“Although no security incidents have been reported in the last 24 hours, Transnet remains on high alert and additional security and protection of critical infrastructure remains in place.”

Durban, Richards Bay and surrounding areas in KwaZulu-Natal province, have been experiencing violent unrest and rioting in protest against the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma. The South African government plans to deploy 25,000 troops to counter the widespread looting and violence.

Reportedly, more than 110 people have been killed after violence erupted last week and rapidly escalated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of businesses. Over 2,000 have been arrested in what is turning out to be one of South Africa’s worst unrests in years.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a backgroud in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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