Photo: Illustration purposes only (Image courtesy of Transnet)

Transnet finds source of cyber threat at South African ports

South African port operator Transnet has identified and isolated the source of IT disruption that halted the operations at its container terminals.

The company confirmed that its IT systems were affected by disruption on Thursday, 22 July 2021, that impacted its container terminals.

Related Article

In a statement issued on Friday, Transnet revealed that the cause of IT system malfunction was identified and that it is now working “to ensure that the impact remains minimal.”

The disruption prompted the company to manually conduct ports and rail operations. Since the citrus season nears its peak, the export of reefer containers, primarily through one of the largest ports, the Port of Durban, needs to be prioritized.

Transnet also said it has started loading two export-bound vessels and would soon embark on filling reefer containers. 

“Operations at Richards Bay, Eastern Cape, the East London and PE Container and Auto Terminals continue manually, while Ngqura and Cape Town container terminals continue to be impacted by high swells. This also applies to the Cape Town Container Terminal,” the logistics firm revealed in the statement.

Further details were not disclosed.

In the meantime,  the United National Transport Union (Untu) urged South African president Cyril Ramaphosa to protect Transnet against sabotage, vandalism, and criminality.

“It is heartbreaking that our ports and rail infrastructure, where employees have continued to place their lives in danger throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that goods, foods and commodities reach its destinations and to keep the economy going, has been so severely impacted by the criminal conduct of a few lawless individuals,” Untu general secretary Steve Harris added.

Transnet’s website remained offline on Monday.