Parly welcomes reintegration of foreign nationals who staged protest in CT

Hundreds of foreign nationals have for over a year been accommodated temporarily in tents in Bellville and Wingfield - this is after they had participated in a sit-in outside the UN Refugee Agency in October 2019 demanding to leave the country.

Foreign nationals living at the Paint City Bellville site on 30 April 2021. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament's portfolio committee on home affairs has welcomed the reintegration and voluntary repatriation of over 700 foreign nationals who recently staged a protest in Cape Town.

Hundreds of foreign nationals have for over a year been accommodated temporarily in tents in Bellville and Wingfield; this is after they had participated in a sit-in outside the UN Refugee Agency in October 2019 demanding to leave the country.

Government had given the refugees two options, to either resettle within communities in and around Cape Town or voluntary repatriate back to their countries of origin.

The portfolio committee said 414 refugees and asylum seekers had taken the option of reintegration and 305 people have chosen the voluntary repatriation option.

Acting chairperson of the committee Mosa Chabane said despite a number of challenges encountered since the start of the matter, the committee appreciated the work that had been done.

"The committee is happy about the progress made and we are all focused on completing the final stages to the challenge we are faced with."

Meanwhile, the committee has called on the Department of Home Affairs to conclude the verification and documentation of the remaining 43 people to ensure that the UNHCR process is concluded.

He said the committee was still concerned that about 350 people remained defiant and resolved not to take advantage of the generous offers made by the UNHCR.

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