Pretoria, South Africa.- The first group of some 700 young South Africans who completed five-year medical studies in Cuba arrived in this capital from Havana and were welcomed with a ceremony at the Oliver Tambo airport in Johannesburg.

The act on Saturday had to be postponed due to delays in the plane’s arrival, so the announced participation of Vice President David Mabuza was prevented.

In a message released by the South African Presidency, Mabuza expressed that the return of these students reinforces the much needed reserve of qualified doctors who will contribute to improving national health.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, the general secretary of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule, the heads of government of the provinces of Free State and KwaZulu Natal, Refilwe Mtsweni and Willies Mchunu, respectively, accompanied the Cuban ambassador, Rodolfo Benitez, in this welcome act.

Executives of the South African graduates in Cuba and the students’ representatives who also returned attended this activity, where Cuba’s support for the training of doctors from this Southern African nation was highlighted.

For Minister Motsoaledi, the comeback of these young people, who will be attending South African universities in their senior year of their major, is crucial because it coincides with the early entry into force of a law on health insurance that will benefit the poorest South African population.

You must be the driving force behind the application of this process, stressed the South African Health Minister after thanking Cuba for the efforts made in the training of these doctors.