In a freak occurrence, two key undersea cables that connect South Africa to the global internet have both been hit by separate failures – resulting in very slow internet speeds for some users since Thursday.

The South Atlantic 3/West Africa (SAT-3/Wasc) submarine cable, which links Portugal and Spain to South Africa, with connections to several West African countries along the way, has been hit by a breakdown near Libreville, Gabon, internet service provider Axxess reported this morning.
Meanwhile the West Africa Cable System (Wacs), which links South Africa with the United Kingdom, also along the west coast of Africa, saw an outage off the coast of Congo.

This has resulted in some South African internet users experiencing excruciatingly slow speeds since Thursday.

"The unusual and simultaneous dual cable break has resulted in customers, that are connected to Openserve’s global capacity clients, experiencing reduced speed on international browsing. International voice calling and mobile roaming has also been impacted," Openserve said in a statement on Thursday.
"Openserve appreciates the patience of all affected clients and their customers as undersea cable infrastructure repairs are complex and can be time consuming."
On Friday morning, internet service provider Afrihost told users that connections are being re-routed, but that it still had no estimate on when normal service would resume.

Openserve says it has made "its resources" available to both the Wacs and SAT3/Wasc undersea cable consortiums, to assist wherever possible.
The Wacs system lands at Yzerfontein, Western Cape while the SAT3/Wasc system enters South Africa at Melkbosstrand, near Cape Town.