The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has welcomed the successful repatriation of 16 South Africans who were stranded in Dubai and Doha.
“The group is currently under quarantine as per regulations. Another group of about 16 citizens stranded in Germany is expected to return from Frankfurt over the weekend,” the department said in a statement.
It added they arrived back in the country on Thursday, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement allowing for the relaxation of restrictions to allow citizens stranded abroad to return home.
The department said with more countries requesting the repatriation of their citizens from South Africa, it would use the opportunity to bring back more South Africans using chartered flights.
“To date, our Missions and the Command Centre in Pretoria has registered a total of 2,313 South Africans stranded abroad due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which led to many countries closing their borders. Of these, 726 are students, 600 are workers, 492 are tourists, and 495 haven’t disclosed their status.”
The department said in line with Minister Naledi Pandor’s instructions, those who are stuck at airports, students who have been asked to vacate their residences as well as the elderly and the sick would be prioritised.