Business Insider Edition

This is why government websites have been down for days

James de Villiers , Business Insider SA
 Aug 13, 2018, 04:59 PM
The presidency website on Friday morning (screenshot)
  • Many of South Africa's government websites, including Home Affairs, were still down on Monday morning due to a backup battery failure. 
  • State websites were running on batteries after a power outage on Friday.
  • The outage affected all home affairs services including birth, marriages, death, smart ID and passport services, causing delays countrywide. 

After an outage that lasted days, several key government websites finally came online again on Monday just before midday. The reason for the outage: state servers did not switch over to the electricity grid from backup batteries - which then became depleted, the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) said.

The servers were running from backup batteries since a power failure on Friday, which also caused an outage of most state websites. 

READ: Many SA state websites down – including Home Affairs – due to a 'power outage'

“While services were restored, SITA is deeply concerned by these unprecedented network outages,” SITA CEO Setumo Mohapi said in a statement. 

“SITA engineers are currently investigating why the transmission system failed to switch back to the standard power grid; which would be the standard operating procedure.” 

The outage affected all home affairs services including birth, marriages, death, smart ID and passport services - causing delays countrywide. 

Mohapi said the state agency will investigate the incidents to ensure it is not repeated. 

He also described the incidents as “ a new and real learning curve.” 

“SITA fully recognises that government and the nation must have – and indeed deserve - answers that will give all stakeholders the comfort that the matter is resolved,” Mohapi said. 

“SITA sincerely apologises to all government departments; and citizens for the inconvenience caused during this time.” 

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