South Africa: Delays at Cape Town's harbor as workers are sent home

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South Africa: Delays at Cape Town's harbor as workers are sent home

Workers at Cape Town's harbor in South Africa are being sent home with suspected cases of Covid-19, causing delays and backlogs for cargo, Business Insider reports.

Port operator Transnet confirmed on Friday that the surge in Covid-19 cases has begun to affect operations at the harbor’s cargo terminals.

An unspecified number of employees have been sent home to self-isolate while waiting for test results.

Over the last week, between five and 14 ships have been anchored in the Western Cape port, waiting for permission to offload their cargo.

On Thursday, container terminal operations reportedly ran at 40% of capacity.

According to Oscar Borchards, acting terminal manager, the loading and offloading of cargo is continuing, however, as the company allows for periods of self-quarantine.

Transnet is monitoring shift performance on a daily basis, he says, being quoted as saying "as well as compliance to standard Covid -19 preventative measures that the terminals have put in place".

The situation comes amid the peak export season for many fruits from South Africa including avocados, citrus and pome fruit.

Derek Donkin, CEO of Subtrop, told in late May that some of South Africa's fruit exports were being diverted away from Cape Town to the Port of Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, which was operating more smoothly.

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