South Africa's Transnet restores operations at ports after cyber attack

FILE PHOTO: Container ships wait to load and offload goods in port in Cape Town, South Africa, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African state logistics firm Transnet has fully restored operations at ports following a cyber attack that forced the firm to declare force majeure at its container terminals, the Ministry of Public Enterprises said.

The department said late on Wednesday that the main system responsible for container operations had been restored and that the force majeure was under review with the intention to lift it in the coming days.

The cyber attack, which hampered container terminals at Transnet’s key ports of Durban, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town from Thursday, could cause backlogs and hamper exports from the region.

The Ministry of Public Enterprises said Durban’s container terminals were fully functional while in the Eastern Cape the container operations were still being restored.

Transnet, which operates major South African ports, as well as railway networks that transport minerals and other commodities for export, said on Tuesday the force majeure for its container terminals would be lifted as soon as it had made significant progress in restoring its IT systems.

The ministry said preliminary assessments showed Transnet and its customer data had not been compromised by the cyber attack.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Edmund Blair