Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has commended Transnet employees for their hard work to have managed to restore full operations at the ports after a cyberattack on Thursday.
Transnet has managed to fully restore operations at the Ports which enables the country supply chain and logistics system to resume normal operations.
The return to operations is good news for the economy, as the Transnet ports and rail system are the backbone of the economy.
Data not compromised
The preliminary assessment of the cyberattack indicates that Transnet and its customer data has not been compromised.
Cyberattacks have been on the increase in the country and globally. Investigations are underway into the events and due process will take place.
The main system responsible for the container operations, the NAVIS N4 terminal operating system has been fully restored and customers are now able to access the customer links to facilitate imports and exports.
The remaining systems will continue to be brought up in a staggered manner to minimise further risks and interruptions.
“Transnet Port Terminals, in collaboration with the shipping lines is facilitating the evacuation of urgent containers for the automotive, FMCG and agricultural sectors,” Transnet said in a statement.
Transnet operations restored
As of last night, the Durban container terminals were fully functional on NAVIS with a few other interface systems progressing well.
This has brought back both the waterside and land-side operations and the truck booking system has been activated on Wednesday.
The vessels are operating alongside the berths and the shipping lines and cargo owners have partnered with the terminal management to ensure efficiencies are increasing.
In the Eastern Cape, the container operations working with some of the IT functionalities are still being restored and the vessels are working in parallel with the manual processes.
The Western Cape is fully restored and some of the IT functions are still being restored.
By today, the stack registration will be complete, and this will speed up the evacuation of containers in the Cape Town terminal.
The Bulk, Break Bulk, Automotive sectors which include Iron Ore, Coal and Manganese, cars and some of the agricultural commodities that use the General Cargo system (GCOS) switched immediately to manual.
This resulted in minimal operational disruptions in these operations across the port system.
Rail operations also continue to run on schedule, as per the train plan. Business continuity plans are in place to ensure safe operations during this time.
Platform for engagement
Minister Gordhan started interactions with customers jointly with Transnet management and they established a platform for engagement with CEO’s and senior representatives of affected companies.
This platform enabled timeous communications and feedback from both customers and Transnet and enabled an exchange of information and of similar experiences faced by other countries and how they resolved such challenges.
As feedback to the daily meetings held between customers and Transnet port management, the customers have expressed their satisfaction on how the process of recovery and contingency planning has been executed.
The shipping lines, accounting for 70% of the cargo moving across the ports, have given the assurance that the South African Ports will not be bypassed and they will continue to work with Transnet during this recovery period.
“Government commends the leadership of the affected companies for their patience while Transnet worked to restore full operations. Credit goes to the Transnet IT teams who have ensured that the systems is restored within a week,” Transnet said.
Cyberattack identified weaknesses
Transnet is accelerating the work on strengthening the weaknesses identified in the IT environment. The force majeure is currently in place and under review with the intention to lift it in the coming days.
The speedy recovery has mitigated the possible job losses that may have been threatened by a prolonged disruption to the IT systems.
The Minister and Transnet management would like to thank the industry players who have taken the time to engage, offer support and collaborations during this difficult time.