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Reopening of CT refugee reception office delayed again

The lives of thousands of people seeking refugee status in South Africa remain in limbo as the reopening of Cape Town's refugee centre is once again delayed.

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

CAPE TOWN - There's been yet another delay in reopening Cape Town's refugee reception office.

The office has now been closed for seven years.

In 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the Department of Home Affairs to reopen the office to its previous fully functional capacity by 31 March 2018. The department missed the deadline.

Last year, the Public Works Department said that the centre would open last month but has failed to do so.

Asylum seekers can only apply in Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Musina.

The lives of thousands of people seeking refugee status in South Africa remain in limbo as the reopening of Cape Town's refugee centre is once again delayed.

The Department of Public Works said that it went out on tender and a successful bidder was awarded.

However, the bidder could not fulfill the conditions of the tender in terms of the tenant installation costs and withdrew their offer.

Now, the department was in the process of re-advertising the tender.

It's understood that a site for the centre has been found in Bellville and the projected lease is said to cost just over R40 million over a period of five years.