The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has reiterated its call for foreign nationals at the Wingfield and Paint City temporary sites to be reintegrated into the communities they were in before the protests in Cape Town. 

The call was made during the committee’s visit to the sites on Saturday, 31 October. This follows a resolution taken by the committee on 20 October to visit the sites.

The Wingfield and Paint City sites are used as shelters to accommodate refugees who protested in Cape Town.

Acting chairperson of the committee, Mosa Chabane, said the committee was concerned by general conditions at the sites, where there is no social distancing and no adherence to the regulations of the state of national disaster.

“The conditions place the lives of the refugees in danger, and do not conform to the generally accepted living standard for human beings,” Chabane said.

Chabane said the committee remains concerned by the increasing number of people at the sites, which brings to question the authenticity of some of the members of the group.

He said the committee remains of the view that accommodation of refugees at the sites is unsustainable, especially in the context of the non-existence of encampment policy in South Africa.

“The committee is also concerned by the conditions that women and children are exposed to at the sites, hence the call for reintegration.

“It also said a comprehensive exit plan, which includes reintegration into society, must be urgently implemented through cooperative stakeholder action,” Chabane said.

The committee has also reiterated its call for the deportation of refugees back to their home countries, after all the proper provisions of the law have been followed in cases where reintegration is impossible.

The committee has further urged the Department of Home Affairs to urgently complete individual refugee verification status for all those housed at the temporary sites.

Following the visit, the committee resolved to urgently invite the Refugee Appeal Board to ascertain the impediments that stand in the way of processing appeals lodged, as per the board rules.

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