Many South Africans living and working overseas may end up without income at the end of the month if the government does not help them.
A group of 3,500 South Africans, who have been trapped in South Africa since the state of confinement, have now joined the Locked group in South Africans (Lisa), which was formed to try to help them.
Some of them are teachers in the East, nurses and farmers in America and seafarers working on a rotational basis.
Lisa’s co-ordinator Beverley Schäfer will now approach the government with the group in the Pretoria High Court to consider their pleas.
Schäfer briefed the media on a video conference on their problems on Friday.
Many of them found jobs abroad and gave up everything in South Africa. Some are in the process of immigrating and the families are now sitting without a home, income or medical aid.
Others came to visit family in South Africa again and could not return to work abroad since the restriction began. The chances are that they may lose their jobs, accommodation and other assets at the end of the month.
Many work on contract and their employees cannot keep their jobs for them indefinitely. Families were also separated from each other in the process.
Schäfer says they tried to negotiate with the government about three weeks ago, but it fell on deaf ears.
“We had no choice but to approach the courts for help,” she says.
All the group is asking is for the government to participate in a mediation process and help them.
Schäfer said exceptions were made in the regulations, but there are still a large number of people who are not allowed to return. It violates their constitutional right to travel and work wherever they want, she believes.
Members of the group say that the countries in which their embassies work are trying to help them. Everyone has the necessary paperwork and permits, but it is the South African government that stops them from trying to leave the country.
Schäfer says they hope to get an answer by Wednesday because the end of the month is around and they want to solve the problem before then.