International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor said at a media briefing that 3639 South African citizens across the world have indicated that they’d like to return to SA.
Pandor said over 600 South Africans have already been brought home and had been quarantined in line with the country’s regulations. She continued saying, the government has made an agreement with South African Airways (SAA) to bring SA citizens from around the world home with return legs of international flights.
South Africans from Germany, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Nepal, Portugal, Belgium, the UK and Ghana have already been repatriated. However, many are still stuck overseas while the government works on solutions to bring them home.
According to Minister Pandor, among those waiting for repatriation are 307 who are stranded in Thailand and 140 in Bali.
Pandor said, “We are aware of the 34 South Africans stranded in Lima. Through our ambassador in Peru, we are in regular contact with the group and all efforts are being made to try to get them back home.”
These missions are not budgeted for, said Pandor and therefore government repatriation efforts are mainly focusing on South Africans who purchased return tickets, students who needed to vacate residences, the elderly and the sick.