Transnet lifts partial Force Majeure measures


South Africa’s port operator and infrastructure owner has partially lifted Force Majeure restrictions following a return to work from striking staff earlier this week.

On 21 October Transnet SOC Limited (Transnet), owner of Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), has informed customers that the Force Majeure declared in the automotive, bulk and multi-purpose terminals has been lifted at its nation’s ports.

Earlier this week Transnet and South African United National Transport Union (UNTU) reached a three-year wage agreement after weeks of disruptions caused by workers’ strike action.

READ: Export wait times double in South African strike fallout

Despite severe disappointment and “betrayal” at the deal, fellow striking union the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) announced it would also be calling off its strike also and returning to work.

TPT’s full workforce reported for duty with effect from 20 October, and backlogs in the container terminals are being cleared as part of recovery plans.

TPT formally declared Force Majeure on 6 October, impacting the company’s ability to deliver on contraction obligation.

“TPT is implementing recovery plans to stabilise operational performance and efficiencies across its terminals, following the industrial action by employees which ended earlier this week,” Transnet wrote in a statement.

READ: Transnet disruptions losing South African exporters $45 million a day

The extent of the backlogs in the container terminals, and the resultant impact to operations, mean that the Force Majeure will remain in place for box terminals.

Works at container terminals around South Africa continue to stagger as liners omit calls around the nation’s ports.

TPT anticipates that it will be ready to uplift the measures by 31 October.

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