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DHA: Roughly 350 refugees in CT have refused both reintegration and repatriation

14 May 2021 9:29 AM
Tags:
Home Affairs
UNHCR
UN Refugee Agency
Cape Town refugees
repatriation or reintegration

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) says an estimated 350 refugees refuse to leave temporary campsites in Cape Town and are still demanding a third country of resettlement.

The two temporary shelters at Paint City in Bellville and Wingfield Military Base in Kensington are expected to close down for good on Saturday 15 May.

Refugees and asylum seekers that have been living at these two sites have until then to decide whether they want to either reintegrate into local communities or be repatriated.

DHA spokesperson Siya Qoza says of the 1,100 refugees that have been living at the two sites, roughly 350 have not made choice.

This group has been referred to as "hardliners" who are still demanding to be resettled in another country.

RELATED: Deadline passes for CT refugees to choose between reintegration or repatriation

Qoza says the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is still meeting with the remaining group to determine the final number of those who are willing to take their offer.

Refugees who opt to reintegrate into communities in and around Cape Town will receive three months of rental from the UNHCR.

The UN Refugee Agency will also supply them with food for that three months while they are finding their feet.

According to Qoza, some refugees who have chosen reintegration have already been moved to their new accommodation.

RELATED: Bellville refugees reject both reintegration and repatriation as campsite closes

He says Home Affairs officials will have a final tally of the "hardliners" next week after the UNHCR has concluded its talks with them.

The DHA and the UNHCR have made it clear that being taken by United Nations to a third country of resettlement is not an option, Qoza tells CapeTalk.

The UNHCR is scheduled to complete its work on Saturday... they would have spoken to everyone and we would know what would be the final tally.

Siya Qoza - Spokesperson - Home Affairs Minister

From the beginning, there are people who were saying that they would not go back to their countries of origin or reintegrate because they want to be taken to a third country of resettlement.

Siya Qoza - Spokesperson - Home Affairs Minister

In Cape Town, we had about 1,100 people now we're thinking it's about 350 people... We should know the final tally sometime next week... when the United Nations completes its work... then we'll sit down... and determine what should happen going forward.

Siya Qoza - Spokesperson - Home Affairs Minister

The people who have opted to reintegrate, some of them have already left those sites.

Siya Qoza - Spokesperson - Home Affairs Minister

Listen to the discussion on Early Breakfast:




14 May 2021 9:29 AM
Tags:
Home Affairs
UNHCR
UN Refugee Agency
Cape Town refugees
repatriation or reintegration

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