No official communication has been received from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on how essential travel works.
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has, following consultations with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the National Coronavirus Command Council, approved essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based.
South Africans who wish to leave the Republic are permitted to depart only for the following reasons:
3. Family reunion
4. Take up permanent residency
5. Receive medical attention
South Africa, like many countries in the world, has implemented travel restrictions as part of the measures put in place to fight the spread of Covid-19. Travel between countries is allowed in special circumstances.
South Africans wishing to return to the countries where they reside should have the following:
(a) A copy of their valid South African passport
(b) A letter confirming their admissibility under the current circumstances from the embassy or other diplomatic/consular representative of the country they want to travel to. If returning by road or connecting via flights, the proof submitted needs to include permission from each transiting country.
(c) Proof (details) of means of travel such as provisional airline booking, or bus tickets and the intended date of departure.
South Africans who fall in these categories and satisfy the criteria can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It would assist if you can indicate your surname, intended date of travel and mode of travel (air (provisional flight details, land (country and port of entry) or maritime port) in the subject of your email send to covid19Travel@dha.gov.za
An email will be sent to travelers who meet the criteria to enable them to proceed with their travel arrangements.
People applying as a group can send one email with the supporting documents for each member of the group.
It should be noted that we received a high volume of such requests from South African Citizens to depart from the Republic.
Please do NOT resend the information unless it is to indicate your surname, intended date of travel and mode of travel (air (provisional flight details, land (country and port of entry) or maritime port) in the subject of your email.
Allow at least 5 working days for processing of your request. Where an earlier departure date is noted in you subject, the Department will try to assist with such requests in line with the intended departure date.
Please note that South African citizens wishing to be repatriated back to South Africa: Contact your local SA embassy or other diplomatic / consular representative, who will liaise with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). In you correspondence, please provide them with an image of SA passport and ID document.
Foreign nationals wishing to return to their countries from South Africa: Contact the embassy or other diplomatic / consular representative of your country of destination who will set in motion an authorisation through DIRCO.