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Saffers stuck in Indonesia say Emirates and SA Embassy very unhelpful

1 April 2020 7:33 AM
Tags:
Indonesia
Bali
COVID-19
South Africans stranded abroad

Candice Smithie is part of a group of South Africans stranded on the island of Bali in Indonesia.

Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor on Tuesday confirmed South Africans living abroad would be assisted to return home.

RELATED: Govt plans to repatriate South Africans stranded abroad

Candice Smithie and her fiance moved from South Africa to Bali just a couple of months ago in what was supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

After Covid-19 began to spread, her fiance lost his gym instructor job when it and other tourist-reliant businesses began to close down as patrons stopped travelling there.

Now, Candice and at least 80 other South Africans have no prospects and no way to get home.

They booked two separate flights with airlines. Emirates cancelled theirs and Qatar's was due to arrive on the Friday lockdown started, so was cancelled.

Last week they tried to fly out on an Emirates flight but were confronted by the airlines shutting them out. Only UAE passengers were allowed to board.

They were told to contact their embassy for repatriation, but she says the South African Embassy has been far from helpful and all the South Africans in Indonesia they are in contact with say they cannot get hold of anyone to assist them.

Once Emirates cancelled their flight they booked on Qatar Air which was due to arrive on the Friday lockdown started, so it too was cancelled.

She says money is fast running out and the island has poor medical facilities to deal with any sort of major outbreak.

On Tuesday Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor announced that South Africa would try and assist all South Africans stranded abroad.

We don't have the power to contact them and say listen here, can you allow Qatar to land? All of us have got tickets, just let us land.

Candice Smithie, South African stranded in Bali

Listen to the interview below:


1 April 2020 7:33 AM
Tags:
Indonesia
Bali
COVID-19
South Africans stranded abroad

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