Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Refugees not allowed to sleep outside Home Affairs

By Marthe van der wolf
27 November 2007

Refugees in Cape Town can not sleep at the Home Affairs office anymore. If they do, they may be arrested.

About hundred refugees sleep at the Home Affairs Office at the foreshore every night. The queues are very long and only a certain amount of people are helped everyday. Spending the night is for them the only hope to be first in line the next day.

"It is not safe for the refugees to sleep outside. We know they make fires which could surround the office," says Public Works regional secretary Makgonye Maphile.

Although some refugees said they would rather be arrested than leave the premises at night, the organisation People Against Suppression, Suffering, Oppression and Poverty is looking for alternative accommodation for the people who are staying at Home Affairs.

"It’s very frustrating because these people sleep there to get their applications in the morning. Some have slept there for more than two months," says Passop spokesperson Braam Hanekom.


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