Maurice Gilungu


While new applicants for asylum arriving in cape-town awaits desperately for the second  outcome of the legal court case involving the Department of  Home affairs and the scalabrini center of Cape Town, which is advocating for the asylum seekers about the Department decision to close its doors for all new applicants since July the 2nd 2012, the pain of being vulnerable deepens amongst many refugees or asylum seekers as they have to travel back and forth  from Cape Town to Pretoria; and in rare cases those who are able to afford the cost to eventually have their claim introduced at the interim Refugee Reception Offices often get a short extension period basically limiting them to find proper means of survival. Otherwise they stay underground or simply remain undocumented.

The situation seems particularly difficult after the High Court ordered the Home affairs on the 27-07-2012 to ensure that the Refugee Reception doors for new applicants were fully functional within the Cape Town metropolitan Municipality for the issuing of section 22 permits but Home affairs denied the re-opening and has since appealed the matter.

With the South African asylum system already overwhelmed by the number of applications received mainly from the African Continent and the many other critical cases related to the situation of migrants within the Department of Home affairs and the cases of hundreds of asylum seekers already awaiting their results up to 8years for some, the treatment they often receive at the hand of certain officials point clearly of the need for greater regional efforts to see the situation change.

Congo Square News spoke to the Department person responsible to liaise with the media and was told that the matter is in the High Court. It is also important to note that the decision by the Home Affairs to close the cape-town Reception center was found unlawful by Mr. Justice Davis after having hearing the case. A Border post between South Africa and Mozambique were supposed to be operational since December 2012

The challenges of migration in Africa should not be ignored nor should not be overlooked. It’s more a problem of management than the figures for refugees and asylum seekers to enjoy their rights fully and to address limiting factors contributing to negative opinions about the migrants.

“if many African countries continues to be politically unstable South Africa will not escape seeing migrants in search of stability”. Said a migrant who refused to be named.


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