A cyber attack on Thursday disrupted container operations at the South African ports of Cape Town and Durban, according to sources.
“Please note that the port operating systems have been cyber-attacked and there will be no movement of cargo until the system is restored,” the Cape Town Harbour Carriers Association said in an email to its members.
The website of Transnet, which operates major South African ports, including Durban and Cape Town, and a huge railway network that transports minerals and other commodities for export, confirmed its IT applications were experiencing disruptions and it was identifying the cause.
The state-owned company already suffered major disruptions to its ports and national freight rail line last week following days of unrest and violence in parts of the country.
The latest disruption has delayed containers and auto parts, but commodities were mostly unaffected as they were in a different part of the port, according to local sources. The sources said container terminals were disrupted while freight rail, pipeline, engineering and property divisions reported normal activity.
Most of the copper and cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, where miners such as Glencore and Barrick Gold operate, use Durban to ship cargo out of Africa.