Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has approved essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based.

They will be allowed to leave South Africa for work, study, family reunions, permanent residency or medical attention.

The ministry says in a statement that Motsoaledi made the decision following consultations with the Department of International Relations and the National Coronavirus Command Council.

People wishing to return to such countries must provide a valid SA passport, have a letter confirming their admissibility from the relevant embassy and proof of travel tickets.

People who wish to apply are urged to send an email to COVID19travel@dha.gov.za.

Dirco won’t pay for people to return overseas

International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor, this week said her  the department will not pay for South Africans who were repatriated and now want to return to their places of work overseas.

Pandor says the department has been receiving requests from people who intend to go back overseas and want the department to foot the bill. This as lockdown restrictions begin to ease in some parts of the world.

Pandor says the department will facilitate travel arrangements where possible, but will not pay for anyone to fly back.

More than 5 239 South Africans stranded abroad have since been repatriated.