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SA fibre operators hit by dual submarine cable break

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 08 Aug 2023
The WACS and SAT-3 undersea cables snapped simultaneously.
The WACS and SAT-3 undersea cables snapped simultaneously.

South African fibre infrastructure providers are taking action to resolve disruptions in internet connectivity services, following a break in two undersea cables this week.

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) and SAT-3 undersea cables snapped simultaneously on Sunday, impacting local fibre players, infrastructure provider Openserve and Broadband Infraco, among others.

In a statement, Openserve says the impact on its network is limited to customers on the international private leased circuit services.

“Openserve can confirm the breaks of the WACS and SAT-3 undersea cables. We are collaborating with the consortium partners to facilitate the restoration of these cables.

“The Openserve network remains robust due to our investment in other international cable capacity, hence all Openserve IP Transit services traffic has been automatically re-routed, ensuring our customers stay seamlessly connected.”

According to Openserve, no official restoration timeline has been communicated by the consortium.

In a tweet, state-owned wholesale infrastructure provider Broadband Infraco apologised to customers for the connectivity interruptions caused by the cable issues.

“A WACS cable break has occurred in the subsea nearby DRC Congo Canyon. The break is confirmed at approximately 3 686km from Yzerfontein cable landing station. For more info, please contact +2711 239 8020 or,” says the company in the tweet.

The WACS and SAT-3 cable systems are deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, and connect SA and many other African countries to Europe.

The WACS system lands in SA at Yzerfontein, Western Cape, while the SAT-3/WACS system enters the country at Melkbosstrand, Western Cape.

The WACS cable consists of four fibre pairs and is 14 530km in length, linking from Yzerfontein in the Western Cape of SA, to London in the UK.

Operators of the WACS and SAT-3 had not responded to ITWeb’s queries by the time of publication.