How can I get an interview for a birth certificate at Home Affairs?

The short answer You can phone their hotline but you will probably have better luck if you get help from a non-government organisation. The whole question Dear Athalie I have been trying to get a birth certificate for my 5-year-old son since 2019 but Home Affairs still hasn't granted me an interview. Every time I go to the office to ask if there...

Continue reading →

Cape Town Refugee Reception Centre finally takes shape

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...

Continue reading →

How can you get a birth certificate with no proof of birth or parent’s ID?

The short answer You could make a sworn affidavit explaining your circumstances, but you may need legal help. The whole question Dear Athalie How can my 19-year-old brother get a birth certificate when he has no proof of birth (he was born at home), his father's whereabouts are unknown, our late mother did not have an ID? My mother's death certificate is handwritten,...

Continue reading →

New court challenge to decision to scrap Zimbabwean permits

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...

Continue reading →

Refugees who arrived after lockdown have no way to apply for asylum

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...

Continue reading →

Gay refugees denied asylum by Home Affairs bigotry – report

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...

Continue reading →

Department of Home Affairs flouts court orders, year after year

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...

Continue reading →

Concourt brings relief to children of foreign parents

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...

Continue reading →

SA’s new refugee regulations could have been drafted by Trump, says activist

Ban on political activity is “illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to the UN convention on refugees” By Tania Broughton South Africa’s new rules governing asylum seekers and refugees could easily have been drafted by the Trump administration, says Sharon Ekambaram of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR). The regulations, which forbid refugees and asylum seekers from engaging in any political activity, even if it concerns...

Continue reading →

Immigrant child barred from school for lack of documents

School’s action directly contradicts instructions of ministers of Home Affairs and of Basic Education By Tariro Washinyira An immigrant child has been out of school for a year after Bodibe Intermediate Public School near Mahikeng refused to enrol him because he lacks documents. The parents received a letter from the school on 8 January stating: “This communique serves to confirm that the school...

Continue reading →