South African authorities are reportedly refusing landing rights to international airlines that are repatriating South African citizens.
According to the DA, South Africans who have been stranded abroad were set to return home on Friday from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight (TB8701) however, they have allegedly been informed that the flight has not been cleared to land in South Africa. They have also received reports that two Ethiopian Airline flights have not been allowed to take off to land in South Africa as they have reportedly not been given the necessary permission for landing.
The DA has now written to the Ministers of Public Enterprises and International Relations and Cooperation, Pravin Gordhan and Naledi Pandor, about these allegations.
The organisation says there have been claims made that South African authorities have allegedly unilaterally decided that the bankrupt SAA should be given preference for international flights repatriating citizens to South Africa.
As a result, foreign airlines that are transporting South Africans home may, therefore, be refused landing rights in South Africa over this weekend. This could potentially result in a knock-on effect for foreign citizens currently in South Africa who are looking to return to their home countries.
The DA says that it has questioned why South African citizens abroad are being abandoned in favour of what seems to be, according to the DA, an attempt to give a monopoly status to the SAA vanity project as well as a likely lucrative agency contract with a well-connected cadre.
They have submitted written parliamentary questions to SAA to obtain full details of all its repatriation flights during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there has been no response to these questions despite the deadline for the submission of the replies to Parliament having passed.