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Home Affairs slammed for failing to reopen CT refugee office

Sonke Gender Justice says the department is shifting responsibility to the Department of Public Works.

FILE: The entrance to the Maitland Refugee Reception Centre in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - An activist group says the Home Affairs Department must take responsibility for the reopening of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office.

Sonke Gender Justice says the department is shifting responsibility to the Department of Public Works.

The office has been closed for almost six years.

In December 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the department to open a fully functioning office. A new refugee centre was meant to have been up and running by the end of March.

Home Affairs officials earlier this week said they're waiting for an appropriate site for the refugee centre from Public Works.

Sonke Gender Justice's Marike Keller says: "The Supreme Court of Appeal placed direct responsibility on the Department of Home Affairs to reopen the office. By shifting the responsibility to the Department of Public Works, Home Affairs is not taking account of their own shortcomings.”

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