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Foreign nationals also deserve assistance with COVID-19 relief funds - NPO

The cente said before taking government to court, it had written to the Department of Social Development, Sassa, and the Presidency.

Picture: pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - An organisation representing refugees is preparing to head to court to allow asylum seekers and special permit holders to access government’s special COVID-19 grant.

The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, a non-profit organisation, launched urgent litigation in the Pretoria High Court.

The R350 grant aims to provide relief amid the pandemic and is open to South African citizens, refugee status holders, and permanent residents only.

The cente said before taking government to court, it had written to the Department of Social Development, Sassa, and the Presidency.

It said the visas of many asylum seekers and special permit holders had expired under lockdown, and this could have led to dismissal, no income, and frozen bank accounts.

Sally Gandar, head of advocacy and a legal adviser at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, said: “The grant is supposed to assist people who are most desperate and to have limited it to nationality, is unreasonable and irrational.”

She said coronavirus knew no borders and did not stop to ask for one’s nationality or status.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.