Riots in South Africa Halt Cargo Movement

Violent protests have erupted in South Africa over the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.  Rioting, looting, and significant property damage has forced businesses throughout the region to shutter, while violent attacks and burning tires along major roads and highways have impeded the movement of goods along the country’s trade corridor.

The rioting began in Zuma’s home region of KwaZulu-Natal and spread to Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province, including Johannesburg, the country’s largest city, over the weekend.

Zuma was arrested last week on charges of defying a court order when he refused to testify before a state-backed inquiry probing allegations of corruption during his term as president from 2009 to 2018.  He has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

For the safety of staff, assets, and cargo, logistics services providers in the affected areas have been forced to suspend all operations, effective immediately.

In addition to safety concerns, concerns over insurance coverage also motivated the decision to cease operations.  South African insurance boards have advised that goods stolen, damaged, or burnt due to the civil unrest would not be covered and should operations continue, it will be at the shipper’s own risk – without insurance coverage.

Carriers are also advising that they are unable to accept demurrage or any other associated costs due to delays caused by the unrest, which is beyond their control.

As protests are likely to persist and may spread to other areas, shippers are advised to plan for continued disruption in the region and to procure their own additional insurance coverage to protect against loss.

OCEANAIR will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.




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