Hope for SA citizens stranded around the world as 300 return home from the US
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Durban - South Africa was making slow but sure progress in repatriating the 3639 known citizens stuck outside the country for more than three weeks due to borders having been closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
In a virtual briefing, Minister of International Relations Dr Naledi Pandor said about 600 people had been brought home, but efforts were being hampered by the lockdown in most countries.
SAA, which was contracted by some foreign governments to transport their nationals home from South Africa, has been approached in the hope it can use return legs to bring stranded South Africans home. SAA has flown numerous charter flights to Germany, Brazil and Canada.
Pandor said the South Africans were due to be returned from Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, Ireland, Nepal, Italy, Nigeria and Ghana.
On Wednesday, 300 people returned from Miami, US, and plans were being made to bring back citizens from New York and other US cities. In addition, private chartered flights had returned South Africans from Namibia, the Maldives and Afghanistan.
A further 307 citizens are stranded in Thailand, as well as about 140 in Bali, Indonesia. Through South African missions in these countries, efforts were being made to bring them home, Pandor said. There were also 34 South Africans in Lima, Peru, and a flight to fetch South Africans in Pakistan was due soon.
However, South Africans stranded in the US and in Australia for three weeks now say they have had no word on when they will be able to return.
People returning undergo Covid-19 tests and are placed in quarantine for two weeks.