Force majeure declared as civil unrest impacts South African Ports.

South Africa’s Transnet lifts force majeure at all port terminals

Port of Durban

A force majeure has been declared by the South African logistics company Transnet, that oversees the operations of the country’s ports and terminals on July 12, announcing that it is suspending terminal operations in both the ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

The closures followed days of violence that is now spreading across South Africa after the country’s former president was jailed on contempt of court charges for not appearing at a corruption inquiry. After former president Jacob Zuma handed himself in to police to begin serving a 15-month sentence, there were initially demonstrations in his home province in eastern South Africa, where the ports are also located. 

In a statement issued by Transnet “the violence has now reached proportions beyond the control of the local law enforcement and security services”, the statement said. Unfortunately, due to the civil unrest the company said it had to suspend work at the general terminals in both ports, although S&P Platts is quoting sources saying that coal operations appeared to be continuing, but that additional disruptions were expected at the ports.

Transnet issued a further statement denying reports of a circulating video showing a container being vandalized. They reiterated, “We can confirm that the container is not at any of our ports, or at any of Transnet’s facilities.”

South African media has also reported that Shell and BP South African Petroleum Refineries have also declared a force majeure. The operations reportedly are responsible for 35 percent of South Africa’s refinery capacity.

Two weeks ago, before the latest rounds of violence, mining giant Rio Tinto also declared a force majeure on customer contracts at its Richards Bay Minerals project. At the time, they cited “an escalation in the security situation at the operations.”

Source: Odomankoma Maritime News

Louis Gyan Kofi
Author: Louis Gyan Kofi

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