Multiple subsea cable breaks knock SA’s internet

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 14 Mar 2024
Subsea cable breaks caused widespread internet outages today.
Subsea cable breaks caused widespread internet outages today.

Multiple subsea cable breaks are impacting internet connectivity in South Africa.

The cable outages are affecting several internet service providers and cloud service providers across the country, leaving some South Africans unconnected.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Vodacom says: “Certain customers are currently experiencing intermittent connectivity issues due to multiple undersea cable failures affecting SA’s network providers, including us. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The outage has also affected services such as Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

Says Microsoft on Azure status: “Starting at 10:30 UTC on 14 March 2024, customers using Azure Services in South Africa North and South Africa West may experience increased network latency or packet drops when accessing their resources.”

In a new update, Microsoft says: “We have determined that multiple fibre cables on the West Coast of Africa — WACS, MainOne, SAT3, ACE — have been impacted which reduced total capacity supporting our regions in South Africa.

“In addition to these cable impacts, the ongoing cable cuts in the Red Sea — EIG, Seacom, AAE-1 — are also impacting capacity on the East Coast of Africa. This combination of incidents has impacted all Africa capacity – including other cloud providers and public internet as well.”

The affected companies did not disclose what caused the cables to break.

The latest outage comes after subsea cable operator Seacom recently encountered a service-affecting outage on its cable system in the Red Sea.

On Friday last week, the company said it is waiting for permits to start repairing its broken submarine cable in the Red Sea.