After a court battle lasting ten years, the new centre is set to open next year By Tariro Washinyira The long-awaited Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre in Epping is finally taking shape, with builders hard at work on the site of the new building. The office is due to be opened early next year after court battles which have lasted ten...
The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation seeks to defend the rights of Zimbabweans living in South Africa By Tania Broughton The Zimbabwean Immigration Federation is to challenge the decision by the South African government to scrap permits for Zimbabweans. The federation says the permit system was a solution that substantially reduced pressure on asylum management and curbed the ineffective deportation of Zimbabweans. It...
Since lockdown asylum seekers and refugees have been denied crucial services By Tariro Washinyira Refugees and asylum seekers are facing a myriad of problems because Home Affairs has not provided crucial in-person services for two years. Despite a blanket extension of permits various government departments and private sector facilities are not accepting valid documents, not even some Home Affairs officers. There...
Marchers call for Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi to step down By Masego Mafata “We are frustrated and anxious. On the one side, the South African government has revoked the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), on the other side there is this movement called Dudula. Our futures are really uncertain,” says Taurai Beans. Beans joined about 200 people marching from Pieter Roos...
Asylum application backlog set to grow, with Refugee Reception Offices closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic By Tariro Washinyira Refugees who arrived in South Africa after March 2020 have had no way to apply for asylum status. Accumulating new applications will put further pressure on attempts to clear an already huge backlog of asylum claims. A UNHCR-funded joint project...
Court rules Home Affairs must provide monthly progress reports By Tariro Washinyira Western Cape High Court acting judge Alma de Wet has ordered the prompt re-opening of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office, which has been closed since 2012. In an order handed down on Tuesday, Judge De Wet declared that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in breach of a Supreme...
Organisations analysed letters denying LGBTI applicants refugee status By Tariro Washinyira A report released on Thursday by several civil society organisations has found evidence that LGBT refugees are being denied asylum in South Africa despite being “eligible for protection under international and domestic law”. The authors of the report surveyed denial letters for 67 asylum applicants who had applied for asylum on the basis of...
Still no functional refugee reception office in Cape Town By Tariro Washinyira Despite court orders, since Home Affairs closed its refugee reception office in Cape Town it has not reopened a new one. Home Affairs dragged the matter through the courts for six years, losing every time. Since 2017 it has made little progress in reopening a “fully functional refugee reception...
The Scalabrini Centre’s #access4EVERYchild campaign is assisting families By Tariro Washinyira A Zimbabwean woman, who prefers to stay anonymous, says she had been struggling since last year to get her child into school. She went to every school in Parow, but all refused to enrol her child for grade one. As a result, the child spent a year at home. The child...
If you were born in South Africa to non-citizens you can apply to be a citizen By Tania Broughton It has taken four years of legal battles, but now if you were born in South Africa to foreign parents you can apply for citizenship. It has been an “agonizing journey” for those who consider South Africa to be their only home. The Department of...