Repatriated South Africans stranded for hours at airport is not our fault – De Lille

Patricia de Lille. Picture: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach

The minister said the health department did not give them enough time to prepare quarantine accommodation.

Nearly 200 South Africans repatriated from the United States were left stranded for three hours at OR Tambo International airport on Monday and Public Enterprise Minister Patricia De Lille has blamed the health department for this blunder.

Speaking to EWN, De Lille said the health department did not give them enough time to prepare quarantine accommodation.

She explained that she was only informed seven hours before the group’s arrival at the airport, they needed at least 72 hours to ensure all procurement procedures were properly followed before people could be accommodated at quarantine sites.

“I have now called for a meeting with the minister of health. In fact, I sent him a letter late last night to say, ‘this is unbecoming, you cannot expect us to break the law by phoning us at 10 in the morning or sending an email to say over 300 people have arrived’,” said De Lille.

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