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Red tape delaying re-opening of CT refugee reception office

The centre has been closed for about 6 years.

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

CAPE TOWN - Red tape appears to be delaying the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office from re-opening.

The centre has been closed for about 6 years.

In December 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the department to open a new facility by the end of March 2018.

And last June, Home Affairs said that the Public Works Department needed to find appropriate premises for the centre, adding this was to be done by 1 January 2019.

The Department of Public Works says that it has gone through the Supply Chain Management processes in acquiring suitable accommodation for Home Affairs to locate the centre.

The department says that it is now waiting for Home Affairs to confirm funding.

It adds that when it receives the confirmation, the department will be able to award the bid.

Last week, there were reports that land had been identified in Maitland for the centre, however, Public Works would not confirm this.

Meanwhile, the NGO Adonis Musati Project says new asylum seekers are forced to travel to other centres including Pretoria, Durban, or Musina, which is expensive.

"It creates an environment where people are very scared because they want to do the right thing, they want to be honest and want to get their documentation in order but there are all these barriers that the Department of Home Affairs has put up."

Home Affairs insists it is complying with the court order and is submitting monthly reports.