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Minister Pandor: 1471 Saffers abroad needing help, Dirco 24-hour contact numbers

3 April 2020 8:19 AM
Tags:
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor
repatriation
coronavirus covid-19.

International Relations Minister says some need to travel home while others need help with accommodation overseas.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Dr Naledi Pandor, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, on the issue of South Africans who are currently abroad.

Some are unable to return to South Africa due to flights being cancelled the world over but others are struggling to find accommodation in the countries they find themselves due to lockdowns.

1, 471 South Africans currently overseas have contacted the South African mission for assistance, confirms Pandor.

Some want airways to be open so that they can travel on commercial airlines. Others needing help because they are stranded.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

Some might need help with accommodation because they are students there out of residences. These students who have not completed courses do not necessarily want to come back but they need help because universities and residences have closed. They don't have accommodation and they don't know where to go.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

I have said we must repatriate those that are in distress - and those would be people such as 30 who are at an airport in Doha, or 70 who are in Bali in Thailand and whose accommodation funds have run out but they actually have flight tickets.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

She says her department is discussing with the Thai government whether a plane can be made available to bring them home.

It would only load South African citizens to return home.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

Pandor says consideration is being given to the elderly and the infirm who are overseas as well who need to receive medical treatment in South Africa.

The stranded, elderly and infirm are the three categories that will be the primary target initially.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

She says the department is making a distinction between those who are travelling overseas and are now stranded and those who chose to settle in other countries.

She says her department has asked governments to extend visas for South Africans who have chosen to settle in other countries and have work permits.

I am not encouraging large numbers of movement but those who are really in distress and call on the government to find a way to assist in partnership with other governments, those are the ones we are looking at.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

We are going to have to look at this on a case by case basis.

Minister Naledi Pandor - International Relations and Cooperation

South African embassies across the world are reduced to a skeleton staff says Pandor.

24-hour Dirco command centre with two telephone numbers and two email addresses.

DIRCO COMMAND CENTRE TELEPHONE NUMBERS: +27 12 351 1754 +27 12 351 1756

EMAIL ADDRESSES: cicc1@dirco.gov.za cicc2@dirco.gov.za

Listen to the interview below:


3 April 2020 8:19 AM
Tags:
International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor
repatriation
coronavirus covid-19.

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