Last camp for xenophobia victims closes

2015-07-01 08:17
Children play at the refugee camp in Chatsworth. (Matthew Middleton, City Press)

Children play at the refugee camp in Chatsworth. (Matthew Middleton, City Press)

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Durban - The last camp in Durban for those displaced by xenophobic violence has been closed, the eThekwini municipality has announced.

The Chatsworth camp was home to foreign nationals who were displaced during the violent attacks earlier this year.

City spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said the foreign nationals were informed about the closure.

“The aim of establishing the interim shelter was to protect the displaced African immigrants from the then volatile situation they faced back in their communities,” said Mthethwa.

"However, after assessing the conditions and conducting extensive social community dialogues through the provincial Department of Community Safety and Liaison, the government is pleased that the situation has normalised. This therefore means that the shelter should cease to operate.

She said the foreign nationals who were living at the shelter were given an option of being reintegrated back into the communities and others requested to be repatriated to their home countries.

There were over 5 000 people accommodated in three temporary shelters in the eThekwini municipality.

'Support'

Mthethwa said of the three temporary shelters, two have been closed and the Chatsworth shelter was the last.

“There was an outpour of support from various stakeholders including the non-government sector who donated food, [items for] personal hygiene and baby supplies.

“All the non-profit organisations who worked with the city at the shelter did so on a voluntary basis,” said Mthethwa.

The city said most of the donors had withdrawn their services because the situation had stabilised.

At least six people were killed as a result of the violence in the province, with the Umlazi, KwaMashu and Verulam areas surrounding Durban being the worst affected.

Read more on:    durban  |  xenophobia

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