Since the National State of Disaster was declared by President Ramaphosa on the 26th March 2020, a total of 3637 citizens have been repatriated.
Minister Naledi Pandor of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has announced that much more work needs to be done as 5239 South African’s remain stranded abroad.
Citizens that are over-seas are currently stranded at airports as they cease to operate and nowhere else to go, amongst the stranded are also students who have requested to evacuate the countries during the lockdown period.
Professionals that work overseas for their income have suffered job losses and relied on their pay packet to maintain a living, without the income they have been left with no choice but to make attempts to return to South Africa.
“The process of repatriation is not easy, given the various restrictions implemented by countries across the world. The process involved a lot of negotiations with multiple stakeholders, which explains why we couldn’t repatriate some as speedily as we wished.” said Pandor
The Minister has instructed that the repatriation process has now been declared a humanitarian mission and any citizen that is currently stranded abroad should contact the South African embassies.