South Africa’s slow Internet – Repairs have started

Repairs have started on the break in the WACS cable system which has been causing slow international connection speeds for South Africans.

The South African Nation Research and Education Network issued an alert on 27 March 2020 which said there was a break on the West Africa Cable System (WACS).

This break took place on a cable belonging to TATA that runs between Highbridge in the UK, and Seixal in Portugal.

Unfortunately, this break coincided with a break on the SAT-3 undersea cable, resulting in reduced capacity for routing international traffic.

Both the WACS and SAT-3 cable systems are deployed in the Atlantic Ocean and connect African countries – including South Africa – to Europe.

WACS lands in South Africa at Yzerfontein, Western Cape while the SAT-3 system enters South Africa at Melkbosstrand, Western Cape.


WACS update

RENAlerts confirmed this afternoon that the cable repair vessel Ile D’Aix has arrived at the WACS repair point and is working on the break.

The vessel is owned by TATA, the company which owns the damaged segment of the cable system.

RENAlerts said the weather forecast is suitable for the repair work to take place, and the estimated time of repair is 4 April 2020.

The map below shows the location of the Ile D’Aix cable vessel as of 31 March.

WACS cable repair location


SAT-3 cable links restored

RENAlerts also noted that it has seen the restoration of its SAT-3 links since 03:00 this morning.

It said it is monitoring these links to ensure they are stable.

Repair ship Leon Thevenin arrived at the break in the SAT-3 cable off the coast of Congo a few days ago.

The estimated completion time for these repairs was originally 2 April 2020, and full capacity was only expected to be restored on 4 April.

The map below details the location of the SAT-3 cable break, where the Leon Thevenin has been conducting repairs.

RENAlerts map 1


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South Africa’s slow Internet – Repairs have started