Displaced foreigners moved to new camp

2015-04-17 16:04
(Tebogo Letsie, AP)

(Tebogo Letsie, AP)

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Durban - More than 2 000 displaced foreigners have been moved from Greenwood Park to Rydalvale Sports Ground in Phoenix. 

Families were ferried in 24 buses from wards in Verulem and the Greenwood Park area on Friday. 

Officials from the metro police, SA Police Service, the municipality's disaster management unit, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Rescue Services and SA Red Cross Society facilitated the move.

Leading the move is Sipho Mthethwa from the office of the Durban mayor.

Mthethwa says he always has to keep calm.

"I can't say no to any of their requests and even if I do, I have to tell them nicely. Some are hungry and some have lost their clothes, I deal with all sorts of issues."

"Calm down" is the word he uses almost a 100 times a day.

Mthethwa said the disabled foreigners had been moved as "the camps became too small". 

Their new home is much bigger and by Friday midday everyone was still trying to claim their spots. Three large white tents had been erected and humanitarian aid had started arriving to feed the masses.

Mthethwa uses a loud hailer to communicate with the families in Zulu and English.

"The taps and the toilets are allocated at the back of the tents, please drink some water, it's hot," said Mthethwa.

He said the main task for Friday was to get the families settled.

"We are all trying to get settled, bear with us. You will get your bags. At the moment let's just settle in," said Mthethwa.

More than 24 buses have been used to transport the families.

"The most challenging part of this is that they don't want to stay together, they don't want to part with their belongings. But the rules are that men must stay together and the women must stay together."

Mthethwa said that by the end of Friday there would be more than 2 900 people at the new camp.


Read more on:    durban  |  xenophobia

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