The repair ship meant to fix the damaged undersea internet cables, the Leon Thevenin, has reportedly been stuck in Cape Town harbour due to strong winds.
Telecom company, Afrihost, said in a network update on Sunday, that adverse weather conditions in the Western Cape have delayed the departure of the repair ship, causing a lack of an estimated time of repair. They continued, saying: ”We are currently using an alternate transit route, which doesn’t have sufficient capacity to accommodate all the traffic which has been rerouted to it.”
Business Insider reports that “strong winds of 30km/h with gusts that have reached 80km/h are what caused the delay”. Although weather conditions in the Cape have improved since the weekend, the ship will only depart when instruction is given by the Harbour Master.
The South Atlantic 3 and West Africa undersea cables that connect South Africa to parts of Europe and the UK, unexpectedly failed last week. The breakdown of the cables has left many South Africans with a slow internet connection since Thursday.
According to IOL, service providers such as WebAfrica and Axxess, have purchased alternate bandwidth to temporarily ease the situation. This decision will ensure that South Africans still have internet access. It is unknown when the ship will be cleared for departure.
WebAfrica provides Telkom users with mobile LTE internet services, while Axxess provides LTE services for both MTN and Telkom users