NATIONAL NEWS - Over 1 000 South Africans are stranded in various countries around the world, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday.
“The most recent data that we have suggests that we may have 1 471 South Africans stranded across the world. Of this number, 723 are students, 204 people who are workers, 224 tourists, 320 who haven’t disclosed. I cannot say that these numbers are 100 % accurate as it is based on people who have approached us for assistance through our missions and consular services,” said the minister at a briefing held at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in Pretoria.
Pandor's comments came as South Africa entered the fifth day of a 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In response to the pandemic, South African Airways (SAA) has suspended all domestic, regional and international flights.
As a result of the lockdown which is being enforced not only in South Africa but in other parts of the world, many travellers across the world are finding themselves stranded in foreign countries, including South Africans.
“We empathise with their plight and are doing whatever is within our means to assist them to be safe, as comfortable as possible and to travel back to South Africa,” said Pandor.
She further added that there may be more people in need of assistance that the department does not yet know about.
Pandor urged those who are not able to make contact with missions abroad to contact the department’s 24-hour Command Centre on +27 12 351 1754 and +27 12 351 1756. E-mails may be sent to : Cicc1@dirco.gov.za and Cicc2@dirco.gov.za.
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