The Transnet National Ports Authority, TNPA, insisted on April 1 that the current arrangements for usage of the busiest port in sub-Saharan Africa remained unchanged, according to information seen by Fastmarkets.

Metal exports of copper, cobalt and other metal products have been banned from the port since March 23.

No official statement has been published by TNPA yet.

The response came after the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) filed a marine notice on March 31 saying all cargoes can be loaded and offloaded at all ports of the country.

The conflicting statements over usage of Durban port have garnered widespread attention because the blocked port access has led to multiple month-long delivery delays to Asia. Copper products from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia - the two biggest copper-producing countries in Africa - have been diverted to Beira Port in Mozambique, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Walvis Bay port in Namibia due to the lockdown.