Parly’s home affairs committee welcomes approval of essential travel outside SA

The National Coronavirus Command Council gave the green light for those studying and working abroad to travel after being stuck here at home due to lockdown restrictions.

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JOHANNESBURG – Parliament's home affairs portfolio committee welcomed minister Aaron Motsoaledi's announcement approving essential travel for South Africans wanting to return to countries where they were based.

The National Coronavirus Command Council gave the green light for those studying and working abroad to travel after being stuck here at home due to lockdown restrictions.

Many had pleaded with the government to allow them to leave with some facing job losses if they fail to return to work.

Some foreign countries began to lift strict restrictions and were now allowing citizens to go back to the workplace.

There are thousands of South Africans who form part of that workforce. Most of them had been in South Africa before the country went into lockdown and were affected by the closing of the country’s borders.

Members of a group called Locked in South Africa made an urgent court application for an interdict against the government, saying they wanted to go back to the countries where they have jobs.

On Saturday, Motsoaledi said those wishing to leave are permitted to depart only for work, study, family reunion, take up permanent residency and to receive medical attention.

The home affairs portfolio Committee chairperson Bongani Bongo said the decision is reflective of a listening administration that has the best interests of its citizens at heart despite challenges brought about by the global pandemic.