DIRCO assures stranded South Africans of its commitment to assist them to return back home

Media Statement

18 April 2020

DIRCO assures stranded South Africans of its commitment to assist them to return back home

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) continues to facilitate the repatriation of South Africans stranded in various cities across the world.

Despite regulations introduced by many countries across the globe, our citizens have returned from countries like Brazil, the United States of America, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Maldives, Nigeria, Namibia and other countries.

The latest arrival was recorded today. A group of 80 South Africans were repatriated from Rome in Italy.

In line with the regulations, they have all been transferred to various quarantine sites in Gauteng.

The Department wishes to, once more, assure all South Africans stranded abroad that it is doing everything within its powers, to facilitate their return back home.

Our efforts are being constrained by regulations introduced to limit the movement of people globally.  Many countries across the world have instituted lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Negotiations are ongoing with countries and other stakeholders to allow stranded South Africans to travel.

Two South African Airways flights will be departing Frankfurt today (18 April). 305 of our nationals from various European Countries will be repatriated on this flight. The second flight will be diverted to Egypt to pick up 34 of our people stranded in that country.

We deeply empathise with all who are still stranded abroad including in Peru, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries. We would like to make an appeal for everyone to remain patient, as we explore options on how to bring them back home.

To date, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation has assisted with the repatriation of over 600 South Africans, excluding hundreds who entered the country through our land borders.

DIRCO’s 24-Hour Command Centre:

  • By phone: +27 12 351 1754 or +27 12 351 1756

Enquiries: Clayson Monyela, Dirco Spokesperson – 082 884 5974


O.R. Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road