Hundreds of stranded South Africans to arrive home this week
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Hundreds of South Africans stuck abroad will be returning home this week from all corners of the globe.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) revealed that since President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented a national lockdown on March 26, the organisation has facilitated the repatriation of over 3000 South Africans stranded abroad via air travel.
On Sunday, May 3, about 275 South Africans who were stranded in the US arrived at O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg via South African Airways.
Some of the South Africans were working abroad, while some were on holiday. Three flights from the US to South Africa have been scheduled. Another flight will arrive in South Africa on Saturday, May 9, 2020.
DIRCO revealed that about 600 South Africans from Bangkok, Thailand, Bali and Jakarta will be repatriated on Friday, May 8.
This follows months of challenges faced by the South African government and South Africans stuck abroad in Asia and the Middle East.
Cape Town resident Chantal Steyl, who is stuck in Thailand with her husband and daughter, told IOL Travel in April that they experienced many challenges to get home.
A few cancelled flights later, the family and other South Africans stuck in Thailand begged the South African government to bring them hope.
DIRCO also announced their plans to bring 400 South Africans stranded throughout Africa home. “We are working with various stakeholders to explore options on how best to facilitate their return,” said spokesman Clayson Monyela in a statement.
He also revealed that 50 students and 29 South African artists in Turkey have reached out to DIRCO for assistance.
“We are looking at possible ways of repatriating those who want to come back home. We want to appreciate the cooperation of the Turkish Government. They have assured us that students will remain in their university residences and receive their daily meals. The Turkish Government has also assisted the artists with food and other necessities they needed.
“The Department wishes to assure all those who are still stranded abroad that it is doing everything it can to find ways to bring them home,” he added.