Friday, July 16, 2021

Rioting and Looting Prompts Closure of Affected Warehouses and Cold Stores

Continued Protests Freeze the Supply Chain
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – Rioting and looting in the KwaZulu-Natal province after the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma has led Maersk to shut down all its operations in both Durban and Johannesburg.

While offices are believed to remain open, all warehouses, depots and cold stores managed by the company will remain closed whilst the civil unrest continues. In addition to the two ports mentioned road and rail links and the Port of Richards Bay have also suffered with national port operator Transnet stating that the ‘entire supply chain is closed’. The state group now says things in Durban and Richards Bay are ‘slightly improved’.

A Maersk spokesperson told Reuters that the Port of Durban had seen many terminals shut in the previous 24 hours but this had not, at this stage, triggered any contingencies that might mean diversion of any ships.

Meanwhile we understand from GAC Durban that due to the persistent rioting and looting, Immigration, Customs and Port Health officials at the Port of Durban have still not returned to work. As of last night (July 15) the port was running with three tugs, four pilots and two berthing gangs. The helicopter is also operational.

Launch operators have advised that they are able to service vessels today to arrange Antigen tests for crew members. Based on test results, Pratique (the the license given to a ship to enter port on assurance from the captain that she is free from contagious disease) will also be granted for the vessels. The port has advised that in the event the launches are not available, the helicopter will be available to take the Doctor to the vessel, but the costs will be for the agent’s account.

In the latest reports 72 people are reported dead and our picture is from a video shown worldwide of a young baby thrown by its mother from their burning building in Durban. The baby was caught by the crowd and the mother also rescued.

Photo: The dramatic moment caught on film by a bystander.