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Monday, July 22, 2024

South Africa Hit by Widespread Internet Outages: What We Know

South Africa is currently struggling with severe internet disruptions, leaving countless users without connectivity. Numerous major websites and online platforms are experiencing downtime, including Microsoft services, WhatsApp, Twitter, and major banks like FNB. This widespread outage is causing frustration and disruption for businesses and individuals alike.

The root of the issue appears to be a network outage affecting Microsoft Azure services across South Africa. Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform is a significant player in the digital infrastructure of many companies, and this disruption has a cascading effect on the online services they provide.

Who’s Affected?

The internet problems are hitting users across the country. Reports are coming in from individuals on various internet service providers (ISPs) including:

  • Mweb
  • Openserve
  • Seacom
  • Telkom
  • Vodacom
  • Vumatel
  • Vox

This makes it clear that the problem is not isolated to a single provider.

The list of affected services is diverse and keeps growing:

  • Microsoft Tools: Microsoft 365, Teams, Azure
  • Communication Platforms: WhatsApp, X (reports seem sporadic, may be regionally affected)
  • Banking Services: FNB, others potentially
  • Search Engines: Bing
  • And Many More: Numerous smaller websites and services relying on the affected infrastructure are likely experiencing downtime as well.

Microsoft is actively investigating the network issues within the South Africa North and South Africa West regions. Updates are expected on their Azure Status page as soon as they have more information.

Unfortunately, since the problem is on the infrastructure level, there’s little individual users can do at this stage:

  • Be Patient: It’s best to wait for service providers and Microsoft to resolve the outage.
  • Check Status Pages: Keep an eye on Microsoft’s Azure Status page for updates. Some local ISPs might also provide information on their websites or social channels.
  • Alternative Communication: If you need to get messages out urgently, try relying on traditional methods like SMS or phone calls.

This outage highlights the ongoing infrastructural challenges South Africa faces when it comes to internet connectivity. While access to the internet has grown significantly over the past few years, issues with network reliability and susceptibility to large-scale disruptions like this remain a pain point for many.

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