Crash of several SA government websites 'not due to cyber-attacks'

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Several government websites, with the gov.za domain, were down on Friday. (Getty Images)
Several government websites, with the gov.za domain, were down on Friday. (Getty Images)
  • According to SITA, the issue was caused by fibre cable damage.
  • The websites were unreachable for several hours on Friday.
  • SITA said it expected services to be restored soon.  


Several government websites, with the gov.za domain, were down on Friday due to fibre cable damage, the government's IT services provider confirmed.

Tlali Tlali, the spokesperson for the State Information Technology Agency (SITA), said the interruption started on Friday morning. 

"We confirm that there has been interruption in the provisioning of internet service for some of our customers. The incident has nothing whatsoever to do with cyber-attacks," Tlali said.

READ | Justice department's IT system brought down in ransomware attack

Among the websites affected were that of the South African Government (http://www.gov.za), the Presidency (thepresidency.gov.za), Treasury (treasury.gov.za) and Home Affairs (dha.gov.za).

The landing message to the affected website reads: "This site can't be reached. www.thepresidency.gov.za took long to respond."

government websites
Screenshot of The Presidency website.

Technicians were on site attempting to restore services, Tlali said.

The interruption to the government's websites comes just a day after the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development announced that its information technology system was interrupted due to a security breach.

IT experts from the department were working closely with state agencies to investigate and resolve the issue on Thursday, News24 reported. 

Meanwhile SITA apologised to its customers and the public for the interruption. 

The internet provider said it was working around the clock to restore services as soon as possible. 

Tlali said: 

The technicians are on site and internet service will be restored as soon as possible, once the wayleave approval has been obtained from the municipality. This is expected to be concluded today.

Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale told News24 they were aware of the website outage, which also affected the ministry. 

"It does happen from time to time. It's technology," Seale said before referring further questions to SITA. 

This story has been updated.

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