The West Africa Cable System (WACS) and South Atlantic 3 (SAT-3) cable systems are deployed in the Atlantic Ocean, and it connects South Africa and many other African countries to Europe. The system lands in SA at Yzerfontein, Western Cape, while the SAT-3/WACS system enters the country at Melkbosstrand, Western Cape.

The cable consists of four fibre pairs which is 14 530km long, linking from Yzerfontein in the Western Cape of South Africa, to London in the UK

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

WACS and SAT Cable Snapping South Africa

Openserve in a statement sayd that 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.”

Openserve Statement

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.

Infraco Tweet

The disruption has particularly affected online services reliant on local content delivery nodes, including video streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and Disney+, as well as social networks like Facebook and Instagram.

Cloudflare, a major internet infrastructure company, has been rerouting traffic to mitigate the impact, but congestion and slower website performance are expected as repairs are estimated to take several weeks.

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Interested to see what these cables look like?

The video below shows how divers fix these underwater cables. Really interesting

Underwater cables being repaired.


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