Portfolio Committee plans to reintegrate Cape Town Refugees
The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs held a multi-stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, 10 March, whereby the discussed the impasse of refugees specifically that of Cape Town and Pretoria.
Refugees embarked on a protest action in Pretoria in October last year, where they gathered outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Present at the Committee was the Department of Home Affairs, the City of Cape Town, South African Human Rights Commission, and the UNHCR.
Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, said the City of Tswane adopted an attitude that the issue of foreign nationals is the Department’s problem.
In Cape Town, refugees who were forcibly removed earlier this month are now camping outside the District Six Museum.
A scuffle broke as the refugees living outside the Central Methodist Mission church in Green Market Square after the City of Cape Town enforced its by-laws, granted by the court.
Motsoaledi says if the matter was not resolved with the eventual reintegration of those involved in the sit-in, they would be repatriated to their countries of origin.
The UNHCR's head of the Cape Town office, Miranda Gaanderse, expressed concern about the welfare of the protesters sleeping in the church, and false promises made to people who joined the protest.
The City’s Executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, explained that the refugee situation has made it difficult for the City of Cape Town, maintaining that the only way forward is through reintegration.