#SAUnrest: KZN ports operations back to normal – Transnet
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Durban: South African rail, port and pipeline company Transnet said this week that its operations at both KwaZulu-Natal ports have returned to normal after the last week of unrest.
“The Ports of Durban and Richards Bay have reported normalised levels of operations over the past two days, with all employees having reported for their shifts and working towards clearing the backlog caused by the unrest in the past week,” Transnet said in a statement on Tuesday.
The railway line stretching between Durban and Gauteng is back in operation, with around 42 working trains, according to a report by eNCA.
The company experienced disturbances in its operations following the outbreak of mass violent protests that were sparked by the jailing of former South African president Jacob Zuma.
Zuma received a 15-month jail sentence in the Estcourt prison in KZN after being found guilty of contempt of court by the Constitutional Court.
Supporters of “Msholozi” (Zuma) vowed to bring the country to its knees should the former president be kept in jail. Rioters looted businesses and warehouses around the KZN and Gauteng provinces, leaving destruction in their wake.
Major infrastructure such as telecommunications lines and water treatment plants were also destroyed. The logistics sector saw its operations plugged by the mob after trucks were burnt and spread across the N2 and N3 highways.
A total of 40,000 businesses were affected by the protests, according to the South African Property Owners Association, with stock loss in Durban alone amounting to more than R1.5 billion.
South Africa’s commander-in-chief President Cyril Ramaphosa said during a meeting with industry leaders on Tuesday that his administration had been inadequately equipped to deal with the level of chaos that ensued and that security forces had not responded quickly enough.
"We need to take every available step to ensure the return our ports and rail lines to full operation, restore manufacturing capacity of vital goods as quickly as possible and put in place contingency measures where facilities have been badly damaged or stocks looted or destroyed," Ramaphosa said in a statement released by his office after the meeting.
-African News Agency