Key SA railway line still being cleared of looting debris, Transnet says

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There are big problems with moving goods out of the Durban harbour as fuel shortages and road closures mean trucks cannot get into and out of the port.
There are big problems with moving goods out of the Durban harbour as fuel shortages and road closures mean trucks cannot get into and out of the port.
Gallo Images/Foto24/Deaan Vivier

Transnet is still clearing South Africa’s key railway line between Durban and Gauteng, and is seeing big problems with moving goods out of the Durban harbour as fuel shortages and road closures mean trucks cannot get into and out of the port.

Transnet said in an update on Friday morning that port and terminal operations are slowly beginning to normalise as the number of employees reporting for shifts starts to increase following restoration of public transport in parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

However restarting the major Natcor – named for the "Natal corridor" – railway line between Durban and Gauteng has been delayed, as it still needs to clear "remnants of the looting activities" strewn along the railway. Testing of the line is being undertaken to ensure it is safe, Transnet says. The railway line has been suspended since Wednesday, when Transnet declared force majeure on Natcor.

The Port of Richards Bay has managed to clear all shipping backlogs. But in Durban, there continued to be backlogs as trucks that are moving goods are constrained due to fuel shortages and road closures.

The Transnet pipeline network remains operational.

"Although no security incidents have been reported in the last 24 hours, Transnet remains on high alert and additional security and protection of critical infrastructure remains in place," the company says. Members of the South African Defence Force are safeguarding some of its infrastructure. Transnet’s operations in the rest of the country continue to operate normally.

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