President Cyril Ramaphosa seeing off the 112 South African citizens who will be reunited with their families after testing negative for coronavirus at the end of their quarantine at the Ranch Resort in Polokwane. Picture: Elmond Jiyane​/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa seeing off the 112 South African citizens who will be reunited with their families after testing negative for coronavirus at the end of their quarantine at the Ranch Resort in Polokwane. Picture: Elmond Jiyane​/GCIS

Ramaphosa praises Ranch Resort, SANDF as students repatriated from Wuhan go home

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Mar 29, 2020

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Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday promised that he would sign certificates of excellence for each of The Ranch Resort employees who were voluntarily serving the more than 100 South African students who were evacuated from China, and members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) who went to evacuate them from Wuhan. 

The South African students, and the SANDF members who went to evacuate them have been under a 14-day mandatory quarantine at the Ranch Resort in Limpopo province. 

“I was telling the health minister [Zweli Mkhize] that if there are people deserving certificates of excellent service, it is none other than you. I am going to sign certificates of excellent service for each one of you. You are going to received signed certificates coming from the Union Buildings. The certificates will be signed by the president, to thank you,” Ramaphosa said to cheers from the workers. 

Picture: Elmond Jiyane​/GCIS

“You really took the risk. You were prepared to sacrifice because when we brought these students and put them under quarantine, that could have resulted in any of them having the virus and spreading it amongst you. You were prepared to take that risk.” 

Ramaphosa said he was delighted all the people who were at The Ranch Resort – the students, the soldiers, the airplane crew and the hotel employees have all been tested and are negative of coronavirus. 

Picture: Elmond Jiyane​/GCIS

The group consisted of around 280 people. 

“We have now opened up The Ranch [Resort], we had placed it under code red, now it is a green zone. Now you can return to your families. We are grateful to your families for allowing you to be here. Take that message with you that coronavirus is very serious and we all have to be careful,” said Ramaphosa. 

“You were able to beat coronavirus in China because you were under lockdown. Now you are going into another lockdown because this is the most dangerous virus. Unless we are disciplined like you have been, we will be consumed by this virus,” Ramaphosa spoke to the cheerful students. 

“Many of our people in South Africa are abiding by the lockdown regulations, but there are still some pockets here and there who are still carrying on as though the virus does not exist. Go and spread the word, and tell our compatriots that yes, coronavirus is a reality and we must look after ourselves.” 

Picture: Elmond Jiyane​/GCIS

Ramaphosa urged the students, who will be reunited with their families to continue upholding good health practices and social distancing. 

“I send you off back to your families, back to your communities, knowing that you are coronavirus free. You do not have coronavirus, and we are happy about that,” said Ramaphosa. 

“Welcome back home, we embrace you. Thank you for coming back home.” 

The president said at least 84 venues were considered to accommodate the returning South Africans who were to be kept under quarantine for 14 days.

The group of South Africans was placed under quarantine at the resort from March 14 after they were repatriated from Wuhan in the Hubei Province of the People’s Republic of China following the outbreak of the Covid-19. 

After the Limpopo engagement, the Presidency said Ramaphosa will return to Pretoria to chair a virtual meeting of the National Command Council that coordinates the national emergency response on Covid-19.  

African News Agency/ANA

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