South African mines shut down as nation starts three-week lockdown

South African mines shut down as nation starts three-week lockdown

Dry bulk operators in particular are facing an ever longer list of port restrictions that will impact voyages. Splash has already reported on how the major grain exporting region in Argentina has gone into lock down while many ports in India are pushing ahead with force majeure plans.

Now, major coal exporting hub South Africa is entering today a 21-day lockdown in the fight against coronavirus. All mines in the country have been closed from midnight through to the second half of April.

The country’s main ports will continue to operate but some berths at Durban and Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and the deep water Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape have been shuttered while Richards Bay, one of the world’s top coal ports, and East London are being closed during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cargo will be allowed at the eight sea ports but cargo from high-risk countries will be sanitised, the government explained in a breifing from Pretoria yesterday ahead of the midnight start of the three-week lockdown.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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