About 45 South African citizens are set to be repatriated from Brazil on Wednesday.

They were left stranded after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown, prohibiting international and domestic passenger flights among the imposed restrictions.

One of the stranded South Africans in Brazil, Cwy Mandindi an employee of the SABC in Mpumalanga, says hotels are overcrowded and they risk contracting the coronavirus.

“We were exposed to different areas. For myself, I have been sleeping at the airport. There has been back-and-forth; going to the airport trying to sort out the flight details with different airlines. The hotel spaces are completely crowded; full of tourists from different part of the world also stranded. So, it’s been a crazy time, I mean we are in danger of being exposed every time, except when you are sitting in your room. When going for breakfast, you’re exposed.”

In the video below, Mandindi speaks to SABC News about their ordeal:

Plans to repatriate more South Africans stuck overseas

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it’s working on bringing more South Africans, who are stranded in other countries, back home. The department said this following the return of 16 South Africans who were stranded in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates due to the lockdown.

The 16 citizens arrived back in the country on Thursday and are currently under quarantine.

On Friday night, two chartered flights from South African Airways (SAA) left Johannesburg and Cape Town with German citizens that were left stranded when South Africa was placed under lockdown. The airline has been hired by the German government to return about 5 000 that country’s citizens home.

In the video below, SABC News looks at Germany’s arrangements to repatriate citizens stranded in SA:

South Africa also repatriated 114 South Africans in March from Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak emerged in 2019. Seventy six TVET college students were also repatriated from China.

The students were on work placements in different Chinese companies as a result of arrangements made by different Sector Education and Training Authorities.

They were all placed under a 14-day quarantine before being released to return to their homes.

In the video below, South Africa repatriates citizens from Wuhan, China: