Media Statement

29 June 2018

DIRCO confirms the arrival of the young South Africans who were stranded in China due to visa scam

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu, wishes to confirm that forty-nine (49) of the fifty-one (51) young South Africans, who were stranded in China as a result of a visa scam, have returned to South Africa.

This comes after young South Africans fell victims of an agency, which recruited them to travel to China to work as English teachers on study visas, which was in violation of the Chinese immigration laws.

The South African Mission in Beijing has also informed the Minister that two of the South Africans, who acted as recruiters, have been arrested by the Chinese authorities.

“We are relieved that all those young people, who were stranded in China, are now back home and united with their families. We are very much aware that it has not been easy for the affected families. “I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Chinese authorities who worked and continue to work with us to resolve the situation”, said Minister Sisulu.

“In our effort to educate our people about these scams and their responsibilities when they plan to travel abroad, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will next week Tuesday, 03 July 2018 launch a “Travel Smart” campaign. The campaign is aimed at encouraging South Africans to know the laws of countries they intend to visit and to have all the necessary information before they travel to their destinations”, added Minister Sisulu.

Minister Sisulu also said that diplomatic relations between South Africa and other countries have opened doors for young South Africans to travel and work across the globe. She encouraged South Africa’s youth to explore and seize these opportunities, while remaining cautious of scams which have a potential of frustrating their career lives.

Enquiries: Mr Ndivhuwo Mabaya, 083 645 7838


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