Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), a division of Transnet, said that the manganese flow into Gqeberha had been knocked as train movements were temporarily suspended.
The Transnet rail link into the Port of Port Elizabeth had been heavily damaged by rough sea conditions, that caused a wash-away of the track formation on Saturday.
“The rail link branches from the mainline into the Algoa Bay Yard, where trains are received and dispatched. Rough seas brought on by unforeseen abnormal spring tides have washed away parts of the railway for approximately 500 meters and pushed large rocks, debris, and sand onto the track for approximately 1000 meters,” it said.
In a statement, the TFR said it was exploring other contingencies, including using the Port Elizabeth station as a bypass into and out of the port, although such a method would result in a reduced operation.
“The adverse sea conditions have not yet fully subsided. A recovery team has been dispatched to begin repair work and to clear the debris in inaccessible areas.”
The major repairs would be conducted during the coming week, which was dependent on favourable weather.
“We continue to monitor the weather forecast to ensure the safety of our teams working on the recovery. Normal operations will resume promptly after the line has been repaired and declared safe for train movement,” the TFR said, adding that its customers had been notified about the extent of the infrastructure damage and the resultant impact on operations.
Regular updates would be provided by its Customer Services department.