Local port operators have declared force majeure for the port of Durban whilst Richards Bay has resumed operations at reduced capacity.
The cities of Durban and Richards Bay, South Africa and surrounding areas in KwaZulu-Natal Province, are currently experiencing violent unrest and rioting in protest against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of the Constitutional Court. Our Durban P&I Correspondents P&I Associates (Pty), report that the Durban Port operators, TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) and TPT (Transnet Port Terminals) have declared force majeure for the Port of Durban. They also report that the various private terminals have followed suit and issued their own force majeure notices. The terminals are unable to operate without personnel and cargo which is trucked into the port.
P&I Associates further reports that Richards Bay marine services - pilots, tugs, berthing staff - resumed operations yesterday, 14th July, although at a reduced capacity. Loading operations at the various TPT facilities are being carried out depending on the availability of staff and labour, although it appears the situation is improving. Cargo operations at the private Richards Bay Coal Terminal appear to be normalized.
P&I Associates report that Kwazulu-Natal remains a very volatile province. “We are all uncertain what will transpire over the next few days and whether the Police and Army will be able to restore order and take control of key points”.
The situation is volatile, additional ports may also be affected, and members and clients should seek updates from their local agents when voyage planning. Movements ashore while the action is ongoing should be minimized and special attention should be given to any planned crew change arrangements via South Africa at this time.