South Africa’s state-owned logistics firm Transnet says its main port terminals have been hit by a major cyber attack, prompting it to turn to a rarely-invoked clause releasing it from liability.
In a letter to its customers, dated 26th July, 2021, the company said it was declaring force majeure.
A “force majeure” legally prevents a party from fulfilling a contract because of external and unforeseen circumstances.
The firm said it had “experienced an act of cyber-attack, security intrusion and sabotage, which resulted in the disruption of… normal processes and functions.”
Transnet said in a “confidential” notice seen by AFP on Tuesday, that the attack has affected ports in Durban (the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa) as well as Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura,
It said the attack began on July 22 but continued, forcing the firm to switch to manual systems.
“Operations at the container terminals are still running albeit slower than expected” the notice said.