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State-owned Transnet has said it continues to monitor operations at its Cape Town, Saldanha Bay, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura ports amid adverse weather conditions along the country’s coast.

Strong winds reaching 35 to 50 knots and high sea swells exceeding 3.5 m led to shipping movements being suspended at some ports for safety reasons, it said late on Tuesday.

The strong winds, which have created high swell conditions, must subside before vessel movements can resume. Transnet National Ports Authority marine operations are currently on standby to assist vessels, where required. Industry stakeholders are being kept updated on the situation.

The Cape Town Container Terminal, which is expected to experience high swells until Saturday, has three vessels on berth that are unable to work due to the terminal’s wind-bound status. Another four vessels are planned to arrive by Thursday.

In Gqeberha, the Ngqura Container Terminal had its last vessel finish in the early hours of Sunday. The port authority resolved on not berthing any more vessels until today.

The Port Elizabeth Container Terminal is also windbound, with one vessel on berth.

The floods experienced in the Eastern Cape in June, along with current weather disruptions, have resulted in vessel congestion at the Port Elizabeth Bulk Terminal, where manganese is handled. This has slowed down the progress. Despite this, vessel nominations continue.

Transnet Port Terminals is confident of managing the resulting vessel backlog with the recent acquisition of new cargo handling equipment across some of its terminals, as well as the support of contracted original-equipment manufacturers supplying spares in the case of breakdowns.