CT Refugee office remains closed despite court order

The office has been closed for almost six years, affecting thousands of immigrants.

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

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town’s Refugee Reception Office is still not open, despite a court order instructing Home Affairs Department to do so.

The office has been closed for almost six years, affecting thousands of immigrants.

There are only three such facilities in the country - which means asylum seekers can only apply in Durban, Pretoria and Musina.

In December 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the Department of Home Affairs to open a fully functioning office by the 31 March 2018.

In June, the department said it needed to find appropriate premises for a refugee centre and the expected date of occupancy was 1 January.

The Scalabrini Centre, a non-profit organisation, says it is in the process of going back to court.

The centre's Miranda Madikane says: “We’re taking legal steps to ensure compliance of the court’s order.”

The department has directed all enquiries to the Public Works Department, which is yet to reply.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)