Numerous government websites using the gov.za domain have been down for several hours from early on Friday morning due to fibre cable damage.
Attempts to visit these sites present the user with a “This site can’t be reached” message, stating that the particular site took too long to respond, accompanied by a connection timeout error.
Websites confirmed to be affected by the outage included:
- South African government – http://www.gov.za
- South African Police Services – https://www.saps.gov.za/
- City of Tshwane – https://www.tshwane.gov.za
- Department of Communications and Digital Technologies – https://www.dtps.gov.za/
- Department of Environmental Affairs – http://www.environment.gov.za/
- Department of Education – http://www.education.gov.za/
- Department of Home Affairs – http://dha.gov.za/
- Department of Science and Innovation – http://www.dst.gov.za/
- Department of Transport – http://www.transport.gov.za/
- Government Communication and Information Systems – https://gcis.gov.za/
- SA News – https://www.sanews.gov.za/
MyBroadband confirmed that the same sites could not be accessed using other browsers, and by connecting through an alternative Internet connection.
The image below shows an example of the error presented on these sites.
A few sites using the gov.za domain appeared unaffected, including those of Parliament, National Treasury, SARS, and the National Department of Health. Some provincial and metropolitan sites were also accessible, including Gauteng, the Western Cape and Cape Town.
Tlali Tlali, corporate affairs head at the government’s IT services provider, Sita, told MyBroadband the problem was due to damage to a fibre cable on Friday morning.
“We confirm that there has been an interruption in the provisioning of Internet service to a number of our customers,” Tlali said.
He confirmed the outage was not related to a cyberattack, like the recent downtime experienced by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, which was hit with a ransomware attack on 6 September 2021.
“Sita would like to apologise to its customers and the public for the inconvenience occasioned by this service interruption,” Tlali stated.
He added technicians were on-site, and the websites would be restored “as soon as possible” once Sita had obtained the wayleave approvals from the municipality.
“This is expected to be concluded today,” he said.