South Africans who have found themselves stranded and destitute in London, when their flights home were cancelled on or around 26 March (when Lockdown began at midnight on that Thursday), are to be repatriated to South Africa.
After we received several queries on Wednesday morning, DIRCO spokesperson Penny Ehlers confirmed to SAPeople that an SAA (South African Airways) flight is being planned for sometime within the next week or ten days.
Ehlers emphasised that this flight is only for people “who are in dire straits, don’t have anywhere to stay, and whose flights have been cancelled”.
She said they are not going to “entertain” anyone else.
According to Ehlers, DIRCO already has 300 people who fit into this category for the flight.
If there are any other South Africans in the UK who are in dire straits (nowhere to stay, flights cancelled) and have not yet received an email from DIRCO about this flight, please send an email to: email@example.com and put “STRANDED IN UK” in the subject line. Please include details/copy of your passport, ID, and full names – which will then be sent to Home Affairs for verification.
DIRCO has been working around the clock with a 24-Hour Command Centre in place since 27 March to navigate the logistical nightmare of getting South Africans home from across the world with flights suspended and many global travel restrictions in place. There has also been pressure and much work done by the DA, by some incredible volunteers, and by media including Carte Blanche who investigated the situation on Sunday night (you can stream the show overseas on Showmax International, in most countries).