Transnet container operations hit by ‘cyberattack’ [updated]

State-owned logistics giant Transnet has fallen victim to a cyberattack, a report said on Friday. Details are still sketchy, but Transnet said an IT-related problem has affected container operations.

Transnet said in a statement that it was experiencing a “experiencing a disruption in some of its IT applications, and the source of this problem is being identified”.

“All business continuity plans have been activated. Operations across the group are continuing, with the freight rail, pipelines, engineering and property divisions reporting normal activity,” it said.

Transnet said, too, that ports are operational, with the exception of container terminals, and the “Navis system on the trucking side has been affected”.

“In the Eastern Cape, terminal operations have been halted due to inclement weather and will continue manually once it is safe to do so.”

The group emphasised that the Ports Authority continues to operate and vessels moving in an out of South Africa’s harbours are being recorded manually.

Website down

Transnet’s main website,, was timing out on Thursday morning when TechCentral attempted to reach it, though it’s not immediately clear whether the two incidents are related.

A report by a publication called SA Trucker earlier cited unnamed sources as saying that the state-owned enterprise’s systems appeared to have had fallen victim to malicious actors. TechCentral has been unable to confirm independently whether a cyberattack was behind the problems.

If Transnet has indeed falling victim to a debilitating cyberattack, it comes at the worst possible moment: Transnet’s Durban port only recently reopened to shipping and other logistics firms after last week’s devastating riots and looting that were concentrated in KwaZulu-Natal’s largest city.

Durban’s port is South Africa’s busiest and is crucial to the economy

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that workers on the ground at the Durban port have been told about a “cyberattack”. Durban is one of Africa’s busiest ports and is a crucial cog in South Africa’s economic infrastructure. “The terminals can’t work, we can’t load or unload anything. This is going to impact the business badly,” Reuters reported an unnamed source at the port as saying.  — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media

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