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Transfer of refugees from around CT church to new venue put on hold

The City of Cape Town planned to move them on Tuesday as per a court order granted on Monday, but that has been delayed.

Hundreds of men, women and children who have been living in and around the Methodist Chapel were ready to move on 18 February 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Greenmarket Square is being cleaned up after refugees living outside a church started packing their bags.

The City of Cape Town planned to move them on Tuesday as per a court order granted on Monday, but that has been delayed.

The Western Cape High Court's interim order allows the municipality to enforce public space by-laws but also instructs the city to provide transport and a venue where home affairs officials can verify and document the foreigner nationals living outside the church.

Hundreds of men, women and children have been living in and around the Methodist Chapel since October when they were forcibly removed from outside the UN Refugee Agency offices.

Now, those who have been living in makeshift tents on Greenmarket Square appear ready to leave.

The city arranged minibus taxis to transport them to Salt River Hall where they would be assisted by the Department of Home Affairs.

However, the move is on ice, because the Sheriff of the Court is yet to translate the order into several languages.

While refugees living on the square and on pavements have been packing up, it's not clear whether others living inside the church are also planning to move.

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