(Reuters) – A cyber attack disrupted container operations in the South African port of Cape Town, according to an email seen by Reuters on Thursday.
Durban, the busiest ship terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, was also affected, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The Cape Town Harbor Carriers Association said in an email to members, seen by Reuters: "Please note that the port operating systems have been cyberattacked and there will be no cargo movement until the system is restored."
Transnet, which operates large South African ports , including Durban and Cape Town, and a large railway network transporting minerals and other raw materials for export, confirmed that its IT applications experienced disruptions and identified the cause
It declined to comment on whether a cyber attack caused the disruption. The sources, who asked not to be named because they do not have permission to speak to the press, said that an attack occurred early on Thursday.
The state-owned company already suffered major disruptions in its ports and national freight train line last week after days of unrest and violence in parts of the country.
The latest disturbance has delayed containers and car parts, but raw materials were mostly affected because they were in another part of the port, said one of the sources.
It will also create backlogs that may take time to clear.
Transnet said its container terminals were disrupted while its freight train, pipeline, technology and real estate departments reported normal activity.
Most of the copper and cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, where miners such as Glencore and Barrick Gold operate, use Durban to transport goods from Africa.