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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor


Transnet suspends shipping activity at some ports for safety reasons

There is a vessel congestion at the Port Elizabeth Bulk Terminal.


Transnet has suspended shipping movements at some ports in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape for safety reasons amid adverse weather conditions.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) has issued severe weather warnings in both provinces.

Damaging winds are expected over the southern parts of the Namakwa of the Northern Cape, Central Karoo, including Cape Winelands, Overberg and western parts of the Garden Route in the Western Cape.

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Damaging winds are also expected in the Eastern Cape. These weather conditions are expected to persist until Thursday.

On Tuesday, Transnet announced that it was monitoring operations at the ports of Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura amid adverse weather conditions.

Strong winds reaching 35-50 knots and high sea swells exceeding 3.5 metres have led to shipping movements being suspended.

Vessels alongside are currently on standby and no major incidents have been reported so far, said Transnet.

“The strong winds, which have created high swell conditions, must subside before vessel movements can resume. Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) marine operations are currently on standby to assist vessels, where required. Industry stakeholders are being kept updated on the situation,” it said.

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The Cape Town Container Terminal, which is experiencing high swells until Saturday, has three vessels on berth that are unable to work due to the terminal’s wind-bound status.

Another four vessels are planned to arrive by Thursday.

Transnet on Gqeberha ports

In Gqeberha, the Ngqura Container Terminal had its last vessel finish in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“The port authority resolved on not berthing any more vessels until Wednesday and port terminal gates have been closed since,” said Transnet.

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The Port Elizabeth Container Terminal is also windbound, with one vessel on berth.

“The floods experienced in the Eastern Cape in June, along with current weather disruptions, have resulted in vessel congestion at the Port Elizabeth Bulk Terminal where manganese is handled.

This has slowed down the progress. Despite this, vessel nominations continue.

“Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is confident of managing the resulting vessel backlog with the recent acquisition of new cargo handling equipment across some of its terminals, as well as the support of contracted original equipment manufacturers supplying spares in the case of breakdowns.”

ALSO READ: Cold fronts bring heavy rain, winds and snow to Western Cape and Eastern Cape

Transnet said it is taking appropriate measures to ensure safety of life, protection of the environment and prevention of damage to property.

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