Following a court order in the Eastern Cape recently, the Department of Home Affairs has decided to close down its refugee reception centre located in Port Elizabeth. The court order arose from a court challenge by local business which viewed the existence of the refugee reception centre as a nuisance factor and applied for an order for the closure of the reception centre. The court upheld the application of the local business in this regard.
The Department, as an arm of government, held the view that we should respect and abide by the court decision in this regard and accordingly has made plans for the relocation of the refugee reception centre to an area still to be identified.
In identifying such a new location for the refugee reception centre, the Department has to consider a number of factors that will make it easy for refugees to access our services. This includes among others taking into account the current legislation that directs that refugees must report to a refugee reception centre within 5 days of arrival in the country. Secondly, the department is also in a process of finalising policy regarding the need to locate refugee reception centres along border areas.
We will in due course, once plans having been finalised, make a public announcement regarding the new location of the refugee reception centre.
|Weekly Media Briefing by Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni|
4 NOVEMBER 2011