Repatriation or reintegration: Home affairs dept gives refugees in CT options

Minister Motsoaledi said the UNHCR had discussed two issues - resettlement with communities in and around Cape Town and voluntary repatriation back to countries of origin.

FILE: Foreign nationals in their makeshift shelters outside the Central Methodist Mission Church in Greenmarket Square in Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Monday said government had resolved to either repatriate refugees or reintegrate them.

He's reiterated that moving them to a third country is not an option.

This comes with news that 41 foreigners have been deported, two years after staging a protest against xenophobia outside the UN Refugee Agency in Cape Town and occupying a church off Greenmarket Square.

READ: Foreign nationals 'live in constant fear' in South Africa - HRW

Motsoaledi said the UNHCR had discussed two issues - resettlement with communities in and around Cape Town and voluntary repatriation back to countries of origin.

WATCH: No third country of resettlement for refugees in Cape Town

Of the hundreds being accommodated in tents in Bellville and Wingfield, the minister said 121 had accepted the offer of voluntary repatriation, 390 opted for reintegration.

READ: No safe place to call home: Refugees in limbo as CoCT set to enforce by-laws

However, this offer only stands for two weeks.

Forty-one people have already been deported.

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