SA artists and musicians, among 93 South Africans who were stranded in Turkey for two months, are back on home soil. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) revealed that since President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented a national lockdown on March 26, the organisation has facilitated the repatriation of over 3000 South Africans stranded abroad via air travel
According to a joint statement issued by the department of sport, arts and culture and the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco), the group of 29 landed at the OR Tambo International Airport on Friday night.
“The 29 artists were part of the 93 South Africans granted approval to board the flight to SA. They arrived last night and were taken to a government facility for mandatory quarantine. As the government, we are honoured to have played a role in showing care to our own. We are happy that our young practitioners will be back on home soil and soon reunited with their families. The group was meant to fly home, but flights were grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic. These artists are said to be from disadvantaged backgrounds and were unable to afford the airfares,” it read.
The flight, funded by the Turkish government, was part of a sustained effort by Dirco, which has seen nearly 5,000 South Africans returned from countries which span the globe. DIRCO also announced their plans to bring 400 South Africans stranded throughout Africa home. “We are working with various stakeholders to explore options on how best to facilitate their return,” said spokesman Clayson Monyela in a statement.
By: Bradley Brizzy