The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says it is working with Chinese authorities to help the stranded South African citizens, who are victims of a visa scam.
According to the SA Embassy in Beijing, 51 young South Africans were enticed by an agent to travel to China on a study visa while planning to work as English teachers.
The promise was that they would get their work visas upon arrival in China, which never materialised.
While in China on study visas, they started working, which was in contravention of the immigration laws of China.
Dirco Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has mobilised her department to get the South Africans’ passports released so that they can come back home as soon as possible.
“Our Embassy in Beijing is liaising with the Chinese authorities in addressing this matter. We are also in touch with the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa to have their passports released. The Chinese Ambassador to South Africa has made an undertaking that he will expedite the matter,” said Sisulu.
Sisulu said she will engage the Ministers of Police and Home Affairs on the scam so that the individuals involved are taken to task. She urged South Africans to be cautious and check the authenticity of offers they receive.
“We appeal to all South Africans to be cautious of these scams and to check with the relevant authorities before traveling to other countries. Dirco will continue to provide consular assistance to the South Africans in distress and also to keep their families informed of the latest developments,” Sisulu added.