Africa hit by major Internet outage

Internet connectivity to and from South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa was badly affected on Thursday after two cable systems experienced serious problems.


Internet connectivity to and from South Africa and much of the rest of sub-Saharan Africa was undermined severely on Thursday after two cable systems experienced significant problems.

Seacom, the cable system which runs along Africa’s east coast from South Africa to Europe, was experiencing major problems on Thursday afternoon, while the West Africa Cable System (Wacs), which connects Yzerfontein north of Cape Town to London, had also experienced difficulties with an onward terrestrial connection in the UK.

Seacom confirmed to TechCentral shortly after 5pm on Thursday that it was experiencing a critical outage that began at 4.06pm South African time.

“Seacom is experiencing multiple outages on the terrestrial network across Egypt,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

“All our international connectivity through Egypt has been affected since 14:06GMT on 21 January 2016,” it said.

“Repair teams have been dispatched. Seacom continues to monitor the situation closely and will provide necessary updates.”

(Update: Seacom said the faults in Egypt were successfully repaired at 6.46pm South African time and that traffic is once again flowing across its network.)

Meanwhile, a senior telecommunications industry executive, speaking to TechCentral on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Wacs cable consortium, confirmed that a terrestrial fault in the UK, somewhere between the Wacs cable landing station and a telecoms centre in London, had caused problems with connectivity earlier on Thursday.

That problem was likely to be fixed soon, the source said.

(Update: The Wacs cable was returned to full service at 10.32pm on Thursday evening.)

The outages have reportedly impacted both mobile and fixed Internet service providers across sub-Saharan Africa.  — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media

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  • Davebee

    When do we hear that some white racist is to be blamed and carted off to the neo Spanish Inquisition imposed by the ANC to cover for this type of occurrence?

  • aknit

    Stop trolling please…


  • Green advocator

    Its late Friday and I hope that by the time I get home my ADSL is back. Its no fun in a house with 3 social networking teenagers.

  • Macman

    Might be nice if they actually spoke to their friends face to face. Just saying

  • Green advocator

    They do, but they also like gaming and sharing stuff as well, so its a bit frustrating when their friends live in another suburb and its too far to walk or ride a bike too.

  • aknit

    Kids today have missed out on what we enjoyed growing up. And this goes for all countries (in Africa), not just South Africa.


  • Davebee

    Here…Troll this.

  • Benedict Eloff

    I am one of thode Teenagers. And it’s really sad to see modernised communication and socialising is being looked down upon by “adults” who don’t accept the new age.
    Yes it is different with less human interaction but at least we don’t go around making babies and then the mothers family forces abortion or adoption as a solution as if it were a problem. Like there is shame in making babies at a young age… If you want a child and you think you can handle it, enjoy by all means. Just don’t blame or neglect that child.
    Back to my point.

    Technology has advanced so far and influenced us to the extent where you can call it multiple things, an escape, an addiction, healthy stimulating environment, destroyer of narrow mindedness etc.

    It has it’s advantages and disadvantages but you can’t deny the fact that it has opened a world to endless possibilities. It connected worlds better than anything you have seen in your life past and present. Even your family that’s far away, you now can reach out to them with the very thing that takes us kids of today away from the past joyous activities of our parents and great grandparents….

  • aknit

    Woah, slow down there cowboy…

    Kids today are missing out on what earlier generations enjoyed. It does not mean technology is evil or looked down upon. If it was, I would not be building it for you to enjoy…


  • Benedict Eloff

    You see the interest in prehistoric(a bit farfetched I know) is no longer there in the m young teenagers. This is due to the lack of education of the history of our parents and ancestors passed down in an exciting way.
    In my experience history was the I’m going to sleep class because it’s monotonous.

    Stories past down by parents are lost because they first blame the tech before they tell the story. What should be happening is a first hand experience done in a way that builds and is fun…
    Then again these days parents can’t afford that quality time so we live pass our family loosing the ties which once was cherished.

    That’s when you find social media, gaming, music and that leafs to friends with common interest. Which leads to parents loosing that bond with their children because now no one has time for each other…

    Best families enjoy doing those things together. I was at a LAN recently where my friends and I gamed with the host’s father. Get this. The host is 28 living in his own house. His father might be grey and on the old side but he knew the way to always be connected with his son. Age of Empires 3 Asian Dynasties

    I’m 20 years old and I am living past my family. Was never really bonded with anyone but my Lil bro. But I play Leauge of Legends for hours and I don’t even realise what anyone is doing. That’s the life I chose and it makes me happy because once I leave my pc my dad’s on my case for anything because he hates technology and has a narrow mind set on controlling anyone under his roof, no matter who you are

  • aknit

    You don’t have to convince me, Benedict. I see it for myself everyday.

    I’m not blaming anyone for the current state of affairs, it’s just what it is… a product of the changing times. I’m sure our father’s fathers would be saying kids living in the 1960’s missed out on what was good about the 1890’s, e.t.c., as the parents of the kids born in 2065 will be lamenting about good old 2016.

    Before cellphones and wide use of the Internet (so between 1982 – 1998), there was much to be said about walking over to your neighbor’s house to find out if they were home so you could exchange movies (VHS video cassettes in those days). If you fancied your mate’s sister, using DTMF tones or rotary pulses to “steal” your home landline to call her at 9PM when the house has gone to bed in the hopes that she would talk to you – never mind answer the phone – was a rite of passage.

    Communing with other homes on your street to play, hand-off Christmas cards on a wet December 25th morning, or gather outside the house of the kid you all hated to exchange insults behind the safety of your brush fence, are all things my kids will never learn about raw human bonding.

    But, if they are happy to bond over a mic, headset and controller on PSN, well, it is 2016 and that’s the way it is.

    I build and run high speed Internet networks for a living, and I’ve been doing that for a little while now. I can appreciate the good side of technology. I just hope someone figures out how to use it to bring people physically closer to one another, and not farther apart, before it’s too late…


  • Benedict Eloff

    Now that’s a great vision 😀

    And a great understanding…

    You’ll never live your dream but you’ll lead someone in the right direction to accomplish what you won’t have the time to achieve.
    If only humans can be compressed and encrypted as small zip files and be sent 😀