The Western Cape Government has transformed the Cape Town Stadium into a facility where thousands of foreign tourists can be processed to return home. Currently, there are up to 6 000 foreign tourists who are due to be processed.
The Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre has collaborated on this repatriation facility with the national government, City of Cape Town, Port Health, Airports Company of South Africa and multiple foreign embassies and consulates.
Cape Town Stadium’s CEO, Lesley de Reuck, told News24: “When we got the call from the provincial government, it wasn’t a tough decision to make. This is a stressful time for the country, it’s a stressful time for individuals, and for the world. Can you imagine going through this kind of stress and you aren’t in your own country? So we wanted to play a very small role in a very big plan. The logistics are working very well at the moment.”
Team work makes the dream work
According to News24, the deputy director of the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works, Faizel Williams, is in positive spirits saying, “It’s been a phenomenal team effort by everyone who has been involved. It just shows you what is possible when government departments collaborate.”
Faizel told News24 that they have an ongoing schedule of repatriation flights scheduled over the next two weeks. On Tuesday their third repatriation flight has left Cape Town, the first two left on Friday and Saturday, said Matthias Hansen, the consul general of the German consulate in Cape Town.
Speaking to News24, Hansen said, “Since the beginning of the crisis, we had roughly 4 000 German tourists in the consular district – which includes the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape. It is our objective to have all of those who want to be repatriated, repatriated,”