Since last week, demonstrations have broken out in many places in South Africa in solidarity with former South African President Zuma who was imprisoned for contempt of court. Today, the protests have evolved into violence and robbery, and spread throughout South Africa, causing serious disruptions in the supply chain.
According to a report by the South African National Broadcasting Corporation on July 14 local time, the riots have caused the closure of multiple ports in KwaZulu-Natal and the suspension of highways from KwaZulu-Natal to various parts of South Africa.
Many ports in KwaZulu-Natal provide food, crude oil, medicines, minerals and various major daily necessities for South Africa and 14 countries in Southern Africa. A large number of freight trucks traveling between South Africa and other African countries are currently stranded on the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The reason for the detention was partly because the truck drivers were afraid of riots, and partly because many freight companies were closed due to the riots and were unable to provide corresponding declaration documents to the customs.
Shopping malls and warehouses in several cities in South Africa were looted or burned, killing dozens of people. The screen showed black smoke from multiple warehouses in Durban, a large number of people and vehicles gathered nearby, and goods and debris scattered all over the place in a mess.
In the picture below, you can see that there are crowds at the scene of the riots vying for goods in multiple containers.
Violent actions have suspended port operations
Durban is South Africa’s import and export hub and one of the busiest shipping terminals on the African continent. It transports various major living supplies to 14 countries in southern Africa. The protests have brought South Africa’s largest economic artery to a standstill.
South African President Ramaphosa warned on the 12th that the disruption of the supply chain caused by the riots may lead to food and drug shortages in the coming weeks, and people are increasingly worried that food and fuel in many places will face supply disruptions.
At present, the country's largest city and largest port have been paralyzed, and the protests continue to spread.
Due to the South African protests, some shipping companies in Durban Port announced the suspension of operations.
According to SMM, due to the riots caused by the protests in South Africa, some shipping companies in Durban Port recently issued a force majeure letter, announcing the temporary suspension of operations. Since the force majeure event cannot be confirmed for how long it will last, the re-operation time is undetermined.
At the same time, South African logistics company Transnet, which is responsible for operating the country’s ports and terminal operations, announced that due to force majeure, it has suspended terminal operations at Durban Port and Richards Bay Port.
According to the announcement, the Durban container terminal is partially closed, and Durban MPT, Empty Depotsin Durban and Johannesburg have been closed.
In a notice issued by Maersk, a large number of warehouses in the interior of Durban have been closed, the Durban port terminal lacks staff and equipment, is in a stagnant state, and logistics providers have suspended services, which has caused import and export interruptions.