Transnet suspends vessel movement at Port of Durban

Screenshot of MSC containership blocking Durban port

Screenshot of MSC containership blocking Durban port

However, port operations remain suspended.

Transnet's marine services team and tugboats are assisting with several emergencies which include the grounding of three vessels in the Port of Durban according to the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNP).

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Severe weather hit the South African port Tuesday causing three ships to be grounded, flooding and general chaos. "Our immediate focus is to continue with the implementation of the recovery operations", said TNPA Chief Executive Shulami Qalinge. Next to be secured was the tanker BOW TRIUMPH at Island View berth 4, followed by a second container vessel, SM NEW YORK, which was remoored and stabilised at the Durban Container Terminal.

Sounding surveys indicate that there is some obstruction on the seabed that could pose a risk to navigation.

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The Durban Port manager Moshe Motlohi said it was still too early to assess the extent or costs of damages to sub-Saharan Africa's largest port, which is a key transit point for commodities such as maize.

"At this stage vessel movements in the Port of Durban remain suspended until futher notice".

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The inclement weather is also expected to disrupt operations at the Port of Richards Bay. "At this stage‚ Durban marine operations are anticipated to resume by midday on Thursday, pending the outcome of the sounding surveys".

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