South African Government

Let's grow South Africa together

Minister Aaron Motsoaledi approves essential travel for South Africans who want to return to countries where they are based during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

23 May 2020

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:

1. Work

2. Study

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 of means of travel such as air 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

An email will be sent to travellers 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.

PUBLIC ENQUIRIES: 0800 60 11 90


Siya Qoza, 082 898 1657 (spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs)

David Hlabane 071 342 4284 (media manager for the Department of Home Affairs)

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