Johannesburg – The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) has revealed that some of the South Africans repatriated from Wuhan, in China where the coronavirus outbreak started, have requested assistance to return to the Chinese province.
The group of 112 citizens, which included students, was the first to return to South Africa as the world grappled with the impact of the virus.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor told media during a virtual briefing that the department was continuing to repatriate South Africans stranded across the globe and was not willing to help those that want to return to China.
“In that first group from Wuhan, some wish to return, and we said to them it cannot be at the cost of government,” said Pandor.
The minister added: “Some of them are government-sponsored students. We have said their sponsors must address it, this is something Dirco can’t help with.”
She added that government had no means to facilitate those who wanted to return to the country for a short while.
“We are not assisting you to come back for a short period then return to the country where we repatriated you from,” Pandor said.