Mbabane: The government of Eswatini has started a process of repatriating emaSwati who are temporarily residing in South Africa affected by the implementation of the National lockdown by the Republic.
However, not all emaSwati will be lucky to get back home free, but only those in desperate situations.
In a public notice issued by the High Commission of the Kingdom of Eswatini in Pretoria in its website, it has been clearly stated that it has started the process of registering emaSwati citizens on Friday, 2020. The registering process will be conducted at the High Commission of the Kingdom of Eswatini in Pretoria and also at the Consulate of the Kingdom of Eswatini in Johannesburg on the same date.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Under Secretary Jenifer Neves confirmed the underway repatriation process. However, she said it will not be everyone who is in South Africa, but only those in desperate situations. “It will be possible to repatriate all of them in South Africa but we will prioritize those in desperate situations which propels them to come back home,” said Neves. She explained that the ministry received a number of touching complaints of some of emaSwati in South Africa. The US pointed to the fact that one of their priorities are those who went for medical reasons but now struggling to come back as the South African government denied them to come home.
Neves explained that they will look at how many people will register and evaluate their situations and determine if one will be eligible to be brought back home or not. She mentioned that there are some of emaSwati who had been staying in South Africa for years and now want to come back and might take advantage of this opportunity. She said those will not be entertained because their number is too high to be repatriated en masse. She emphasized that all those who will be repatriated would be quarantined immediately upon arrival amid the spread of COVID-19.
On another note, the South African High Commission also issued a press statement about repatriation of South Africans residing in Eswatini affected by the implemented lockdown and could not return back home. South Africa has been repatriating all her citizens for the past weeks on every Tuesday and the last one took place on Tuesday April 21, 2020. According to Jenifer Neves on Tuesday there were 150 South Africans who were repatriated from the kingdom.
This comes as an answer to Siphofaneni Member of the Parliament Mduduzi Simelane who raised the concern about what is the government of Eswatini doing to repatriate the local citizens back to their motherland more especially at this era where South Africa has reported a soaring number of cases and deaths. Simelane asked if the government is organizing any means of transporting the people in that country.