Transnet suspends shipping at Durban terminals amid severe flooding

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April 12, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. Persistent heavy rain in parts of KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in widespread flooding, collapsing roads and death.
April 12, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. Persistent heavy rain in parts of KwaZulu-Natal has resulted in widespread flooding, collapsing roads and death.
Gallo Images/Darren Stewart
  • Transnet suspended shipping at its Durban terminals on Monday evening due to severe flooding.
  • Customers at the Durban terminal have been asked not to bring trucks into the port. 
  • Transnet said its terminals in Richards Bay were operating at limited capacity, with challenges experienced in handling wet cargo.

Transnet suspended shipping at its Durban terminals on Monday evening until further notice due to severe flooding in KwaZulu-Natal.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the entity said while there have been no major incidents at the terminals, it is taking precautionary measures as the flooding damaged road infrastructure in the province, affecting access to terminals.

It will resume shipping at the Durban terminals when it is safe to do so, it said. 

READ | WATCH | Heavy rains and floods have hit KwaZulu-Natal; trucks and containers wash away

"There have been no major incidents reported at the terminals thus far. Shipping has been suspended until further notice as a result of environmental damage caused by the adverse weather, and vessels on berth are on standby," the statement said.

The statement added that Transnet Freight Rail's engineers would assess the extent of the damage caused by the flooding before resuming full operations.

"All critical safety inspections will be conducted prior to a full resumption in operations, to ensure that equipment and infrastructure [are] safe to use," the statement said.

READ | 500 MTN sites down after KZN floods

Transnet advised customers at its Durban terminal to hold back on bringing trucks into the port in a bid to avoid congestion.

"In Richards Bay, the terminals are operating at limited capacity, with challenges experienced in handling wet cargo. Rail lines in certain parts of the province are operating at limited capacity as a result of flooding," the statement said.

The official death toll estimates are that 45 lives were lost due to the flooding by Tuesday midday.

Footage of trucks and containers being washed away in the heavy rains have gone viral online.

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