Cape Town refugee centre must be opened by end of March

2017-12-15 19:10
The Cape Town Refugee Reception Office. (File photo: Tariro Washinyira, GroundUp)

The Cape Town Refugee Reception Office. (File photo: Tariro Washinyira, GroundUp)

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Cape Town - On Thursday the Constitutional Court rejected an application by the Department of Home Affairs for leave to appeal, in a matter relating to the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office.

The Department was appealing a decision by Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The SCA ruled in September that Home Affairs must "reopen and maintain a fully functional refugee reception office in or around the Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, by Friday 31 March 2018." 

READ: Court decision a victory for asylum seekers

Currently the Cape Town centre on the Foreshore does not accept new applications from asylum seekers. Nor does it accept applications from people who received asylum in other cities.

The Constitutional Court wrote that the Department's application should be dismissed "as it bears no prospect of success".

The case was brought by the Scalabrini Centre and the Somali Association of South Africa, as well as five asylum seekers.

On 29 September, SCA found the decision of the director general of the Department of Home Affairs to close the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office to be unlawful and set the decision aside; overturning a High Court decision.

The SCA ordered the Department of Home Affairs to reopen the office within six months.

Read more on:    cape town  |  refugees

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