CT sites for foreign nationals not fit for human beings, says Parly committee

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CT sites for foreign nationals not fit for human beings, says Parly committee

Hundreds of refugees were accommodated at the two sites earlier this year after staging protests in the CBD for months.

FILE: One part of a group of about 630 people, refugees originally from Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Bangladesh, and other countries who are sleeping in a large tent in Bellville, Cape Town, on 22 September 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s portfolio committee on Home Affairs has raised concerns over the conditions at the Wingfield and Paint City temporary sites used to house foreign nationals during the lockdown.

Hundreds of refugees were accommodated at the two sites earlier this year after staging protests in the CBD for months.

Acting chairperson Mosa Chabane said that the conditions placed the lives of refugees in danger and did not conform to the generally accepted living standards for human beings.

“In March, there was a particular number that was reported to us and we arranged logistics within that number. However, there was an increase in numbers that contributed to the bad conditions with no adherence to the regulations.”

Chabane said that the committee was of the view that the accommodation of refugees at these sites was unsustainable, especially in the context of the nonexistence of encampment policy in South Africa.

“Our resolve is that there must be a process of reintegration to communities or a process of deportation to the country of origin. I think that is the view that we are holding as a portfolio committee.”

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