Expats stuck in SA appeal to Ramaphosa for help to return to Saudi Arabia

The expats found themselves stuck in South Africa when President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented a national lockdown in March.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A group of South Africans who are employed in the healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia is desperate to go back and have now turned to the government for help.

The expats found themselves stuck in South Africa when President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented a national lockdown in March.

Most said that their families remained in the Middle Eastern country and apart from returning to work, they wanted to reunite with them.

The expats have written a letter to Ramaphosa, asking him to help facilitate their re-entry into Saudi Arabia, which is also under lockdown.

One of them, who preferred to be identified as Marlene said they were desperate: "We just need to get back to our homes. I’ve got two daughters, they are alone."

She said they had not been receiving their salaries and now risked losing their jobs.

Government said it was aware of the group’s situation but its hands were tied as there were strict rules around leaving the country.