October 16, 2017: At least 95 percent of the Durban Port area has now been declared safe for the navigation of vessels, says a latest release from Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA).
Severe weather conditions last week had left Durban flooded which resulted in the TNPA declaring the port unsafe. According to TNPA, progress has been made in clearing obstruction and debris on the seabed allowing for navigation along the Durban Container Terminal: Pier 1.
“Sounding surveys are still in progress along the C-Shed area and in the interest of ensuring safe navigation of vessels, vessel movement is still suspended in this area,” the TNPA said.
The three vessels that were grounded after its anchors broke have since been released. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) provided technical support during the multi vessel emergency operation.
“We are increasingly getting confronted with deteriorating weather patterns and can expect similar incidents in the future given the effects of climate change. It was a saving grace that all this took place within the harbour where all resources are concentrated. It could have been worse if it was over a large open sea area,” said Sobantu, Chief Operating Officer for Tilayi SAMSA.
The ports provide crucial maritime services include clearing the harbour, aid navigation, ship repairs and marine operations. TNPA’s focus still remains on continuing with the implementation of the recovery operations and supporting terminal operators to restore normality.
The TNPA is one of five operating divisions of Transnet SOC Ltd. It provides port infrastructure and marine services at the eight commercial seaports in South Africa – Richards Bay, Durban, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Mossel Bay and Ngqura.