SA Government pulls the plug on Qatar to bring South Africans home

It has come to our attention that the five Qatar flights scheduled to take place over the next ten days have all been cancelled leaving hundreds of South Africans stranded again across the world.

Home Away From Home, a volunteer project, has been working hard to support and assist with the repatriation of more than 4000 South Africans. We operated as nonpartisan and supported governments efforts at all times. Our entre focus remains to get all South Africans who want to return home, the opportunity to do so.

Just over 30 minutes ago, the South African Government has put on hold all Qatar’s upcoming flights and as we speak, passengers are now stuck in transit at Heathrow Airport. They have nowhere to go as many flew in to take this repatriation flight offered by Qatar Airlines.

Yesterday the first of six Qatar Airlines flights was left stranded in the runway with a large number of SA passengers as SA pulled the plug on allowing the flight to land stating that quarantine facilities were the issue.

Home Away From Home made contact through various channels to ask the Minister of Transport as to why this flight could not take place.

We certainly hope that the National Government has not blocked these flights due for political reasons. I trust that the National Ministers are acting in the best interests of all South Africans. My question now is: Who is going to be responsible for the South African’s left stranded at Heathrow? Who will repatriate our South Africans in other places such as New Zealand and Asia and those that flew in from South America to catch this flight?

It is time that South African Government take on the full responsibility and cost to bring our people home. We thank Qatar Airlines who are willing to do so, but we call on the President to intervene into what is actually happening around quarantine facilities linked to flight approvals, involving repatriation flights and charters.

Home Away from Home will continue to fight to bring our South Africans home.