Transnet says the rail link into the Port of Elizabeth has been heavily damaged by rough sea conditions that washed away part 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 on to the track for approximately 1 000 metres.
“This has heavily impacted the Manganese flow into Gqeberha as train movements are temporarily suspended,” Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) said on Monday.
TFR said it was exploring other contingencies, including utilising the Port Elizabeth station as a bypass into and out of the port, although such a method will 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.”
Major repairs will be conducted during the coming week, dependent on favourable weather conditions.
“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,” TFR said.