The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) confirmed that 22 South Africans stuck on a boat in Egypt for three days, have finally received a release order from the Egypt government to fly back to South Africa.

The group of 22 South Africans was waiting for clearance by Egyptian authorities to catch a flight from Cairo to their home country, after getting evacuated from Sudan.

The approval came after the group contacted the Gift of the Givers Foundation and informed them that they were stuck on a ship in Safaga port in Egypt since April 29.

Gift of the Givers, Africa's biggest independent humanitarian organization, sent them the release order on Monday late at night.

The group arrived at the Safaga port from Port Sudan, where they were working since September 2022 on a project. They were supposed to work for two more weeks in order to complete the project but meanwhile, the war broke out in Sudan.

The organization disclosed that the South Africans were stuck on a cargo ship and not a commercial liner, which made the matter more complicated.

DIRCO's spokesperson Clayson Monyela said, "Regarding the 22 South African nationals who were stranded at Safaga port and refused permission to disembark from their boats by the Egyptian authorities because clearances were required by authorities, we're happy to report this morning that we have successfully intervened on their behalf," SANews reported.

"They will then proceed to Cairo, fly via Ethiopian Airlines back to South Africa with the stopover at Addis Ababa," Monyela added.

Gift of the Givers Foundation founder Imtiaz Sooliman explained that they required the signature of the consular to get those 22 South Africans off Safaga port.

"From there, they travel to Hurghada airport, fly to Cairo, Addis Ababa and Cape Town," Sooliman said, News24 reported. "If they have a problem with their flights, we will speak to the general manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Cape Town."

DIRCO's spokesperson noted that the lesson learned from this experience is that the "private companies who choose to make their own private arrangements for the employees" in such situations need to speak with the government because "there are processes that need to be complied with and certain interventions that can only be made by the government."

Monyela further shared that all South African nationals stuck in Sudan, as per their knowledge, have been successfully evacuated. DIRCO noted that this mission was "dangerous and risky." However, they are happy that South African nationals are back home.

"We also acknowledge the role of the South African National Defence Force for their role in making this possible," DIRCO concluded.

It was reported on Monday that the government has successfully evacuated 51 South Africans and welcomed them at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg city on Sunday. The flight also had a Lesotho national and a Zimbabwean national on board alongside 51 South Africans.

The conflict in Sudan started on April 15 between the Sudanese Army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which led to the death of more than 512 people and injured thousands of people within two weeks.

Battles have rocked Khartoum and other areas of Sudan since April 15 and claimed hundreds of lives