Deputy President David Mabuza is on Saturday expected to welcome 260 students who are returning from studying medicine in Cuba.

The reception is to be held at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The scholarships were part of the Bi-National Agreement between South Africa and Cuba signed by former President Nelson Mandela and President Fidel Castro aimed at focusing on the shortage of skills in South Africa.

It is one of the national strategies developed to strengthen the public health sector.

The parents and relatives of the students are anxiously awaiting their arrival.

One of the mothers says she cannot wait to see her son and is grateful for the opportunity he was given.

She says: “The government has helped me so that my child could reach his goal. It is hard for a parent to stay away from her child for a long time and he had to learn more languages. Now he speaks Spanish too and I am proud of him.”