The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has outlined how South Africans or foreign nationals may enter and leave the country during Level 4 of the nationwide lockdown. The directives were outlined in a gazette published at the weekend [May 9].

People are now only allowed to cross South African borders with express permission from the Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi, and only in exceptional circumstances.

These circumstances include:


South African citizens or permanent residents who wish to enter the country during a national state of disaster must apply for permission 72 hours before they enter the country.

This will be done through the South African mission in whichever country the citizen who wants to be repatriated is located. If there is no mission, the consular services of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation can be contacted.

The application must include:

– A copy of the applicant’s passport or identity card or document

– A copy of the applicant’s permanent residence permit, if applicable

– Details regarding the applicant’s travel itinerary in the last two months

Emergency medical attention

The directive also stipulates that a person who wishes to enter or leave South Africa for medical attention  – and only for life-threatening conditions – may apply to an immigration officer at a port of  entry.

The officer is required to inform the Minister of Home Affairs of the application and also obtain approval for the journey.

The application must include:

– Documentary proof of the applicant’s life-threatening condition; and

– A copy of the applicant’s valid passport

Any person providing assistance to the ill person must also be screened and, where applicable, be subjected to mandatory quarantine.


Home Affairs will be operating to provide a number of services, including:

– Reissue of birth and death certificates

– Issuance of temporary identity certificates

– Registration of deaths

– Registration of birth, excluding late registration of birth

– Collection of identity cards or documents

– Application for, and collection of, passports for persons engaged in the delivery of essential goods across the borders of the Republic and those travelling outside of the Republic for receiving medical services

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