Asylum seekers: 166 000 waiting

2012-04-12 22:37

Pretoria - The Refugees Appeal Board and the standing committee on refugee affairs are swamped by appeals to review previously rejected asylum applications, an official said on Thursday

This was causing a delay in issuing asylum certificates, home affairs director general Mkhuseli Apleni told reporters in Pretoria.

He said 87 602 asylum applications were being reviewed by the Refugees Appeal Board (RAB).

Another 68 740 applications which were initially rejected and deemed manifestly unfounded were being reviewed by the standing committee on refugee affairs (SCRA).

"If an application is found to be manifestly unfounded, the decision is automatically reviewed by the SCRA ," said Apleni.

"If the initial decision to reject an application is upheld by the RAB or the SCRA, a final rejection letter is issued to the applicant."

He said the department was struggling with the processing of large numbers of applications.

"South Africa is the recipient of some of the highest volumes of asylum seekers in the world... at this stage we are receiving an average of between 3 500 and 4 000 new applications for asylum each month."

He said as of Monday next week, the department would operate its refugee reception offices at extended hours.

He said to ease the application process, all Southern African Development Community nationals would be assisted on Mondays and Tuesdays, while East Africans would be helped on Wednesdays and Saturdays and West Africans on Thursdays.

Apleni said Asians and other nationals who fell outside the African groups would be assisted on Fridays.

If applicants arrived at the Refugee Reception Offices on a day that had not been allocated to them, they would not be assisted.

He said the department was especially concerned about the long queues at the Marabastad offices, and that police officers would be assigned there to manage those queues.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-04-12 22:56

    Send them home, if Africa is so awesome, what do they want with the 'legacy of apartheid' oh yes, to burden us all even more.

      busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-04-13 07:42

      There are in africa so what

      Rob - 2012-04-13 08:34

      LOL... Even though this country is disintegrating daily under the cANCer of crime, corruption, missmanagement etc, etc, the sad thing is that it is still the best country in africa by far as the infrastructure laid down by the pre 94 government still outweighs anything that the rest of africa can come up with. I think The-Azanian has summed it up pretty well & any level headed person, black or white would/should agree.

      Sharon - 2012-06-07 17:46

      these people voted in their governments and now that they have been screwed over they come running here,i wonder where our fine upstanding,intelligent voters will go when they realise their mistake

  • phathuchicos - 2012-04-12 23:00

    I dont want to sound Xenophobic...I think SA's generosity is exceeding the limit now...with an unemployment figure of nearly 40% across previosly disadvantaged population, swelling population, lack of service delivery and a slow gdp growth I think South African officials are creating a big ticking time bomb...all the successful countries in the world have a population target that they ensure that its not exceeded but we dont. Instead of just taking everyone while they cant even pick refuse on time or patch potholes how about assisting those countries with things like AID, assisting UN more on their peace missions and sharing refugees with other stable African countries just like how they do it in Europe...seriously 50 million is starting to bite.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-04-12 23:09

      What stable African countries? There is on Botswana, and Juju wanted to invade that...

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-12 23:18

      Well said, Azanian. It is like a tsunami. Out of control. Mismanaged. The ANC obviously thinks that acting the nice guy will generate more votes.

      Michael - 2012-04-13 00:11

      Goyougood*.wtf How many countries are there in Africa? Now that you failed the 1st question besides having to copy from search engines' results, how many of them are unstable? I guess you wouldn't even name 20% of the total as unstable!!!

      Stephen - 2012-04-13 07:49

      Didn't Mbeki say "get used to it they are our brothers"

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-04-12 23:10

    "South Africa is the recipient of some of the highest volumes of asylum seekers in the world... " These refugees are mostly from African states. Why are they running away from their countries? Mr Zuma? Why this Afro-pessimism? Mr. Zuma? Please speak to them.

  • Johnathon - 2012-04-12 23:31

    Must be only country in the whole world where to become a SA citizen just walk across the border barefoot, and viola, you are welcomed with open arms. No skills, education, money, ability to support yourself, in good health and AIDS free. All totally irrelevant. You need never ever to register or pay a single cent in tax ever. We will feed you, educate you, look after you when sick, allow you to build a shack anywhere, without ever buying the land. If services not good i.e. poor roads, excellent water and electricity supplies for free, then riot, toy toy burn, kill my bru, until all is lekker sorted out for you. It is SA's obligation to give you ten times better a life than the country of your birth, which some despotic prick you voted into power has now completely destroyed for personal wealth and power. Remember all is free my china. We just increase taxes, toll every highway in the country, just to make sure you and other asylum seekers can live good life for free. Please brothers, pour over all borders. Already every 1 out of 5 South African inhabitants is a freewheeling, unskilled immigrant. 10 million of you are just too little in a market of mass unemployment. Increase yourselves to 20 million please do. We have an endless tax base here. Welcome to new, Grand SA.

      Arthur - 2012-04-13 01:23

      Dude you're confusing refugees and locals. When did you ever hear in the news: "Nigerians in SA burn tires and protest against xyz" or "Congalese beat up Xhosa locals who own stores". The riots and protests are all locals - not refugees. Yeah Nigerians are famous for being drug dealers and running prostitutes on the streets - but don't forget the other creeds that commit crimes, like the Durban doctor enjoying his holiday in Mauritius with his wife after police rescued 24 girls, some as young as 12, from their brothel. Keep your eyes OPEN, your mind FREE and your heart TRUE.

      Gerda Malherbe - 2012-04-13 05:14

      Hugh, I couldnt have put it better myself! from one downtrodden taxpayer to another, well done

      Rob - 2012-04-13 08:37

      Very well said Thinkertank. Great comment.

  • Arthur - 2012-04-13 01:15

    Is the department worried about the long queues and all the work they have to do to earn their pay checks or are they worried about the future well being of South Africa? Is this not a prime opportunity to weed out the slackers who can't cope with the "stress" of working in the department, dealing with all these refugees? I think this article is a case of lazy government employees who haven't done their job right from the start, now it's all backing up - like a latrine that nobody thought to flush - and they want to shirk their responsibility, sit on their lard asses, put up their little plastic "closed" signs and eat their fish 'n chips and do as little as possible until the next pay check at the end of the month.

  • Smell - 2012-04-13 05:45

    To all the fans of Bob Mugabe and his policies - how come the 166,000 asylum seekers are not lining up to enter Zimbabwe. Now give your head a good shake and get real.

      busisiwe.kubeka1 - 2012-04-13 07:39

      Who said there no refugees in Zim,we got mzansi n other aliens who stealing our education n mineral resources

      Felix - 2012-04-13 08:22

      Someone definitely stole busisiwe's education.

      Sharon - 2012-06-07 17:50

      hey kubeka,how did you come to this conclusion,did you perhaps launch a probe

  • jon.lown - 2012-04-13 05:59

    One has to consider that there are many people in this country who are genuine refugees who have fled terrifying situations. All very well to take a reactionary stance and suggest "sending them home" but for many this is a death sentence. Need I remind people of the absolute crisis in Zimbabwe. Should we not be directing our anger at our own governments failiure to engage in any meaningful resolution in Zim. I read yesterday that R 6.8 BILLION gets sent back to Zim from SA annually. This is money that should be being spent in SA but it leaking out. Any resolution would have cost much less than this. Other side of the coin is that millions of Zimbabweans in Zim would be starving and dying if they did not receive this money. The unemployment problem in SA has more to do with failed government education and job creation policies than refugees.When you employ a refugee you get someone who is educated and who wants to work, and who has skills. Many others open shops and set up their own small businesses. Are they really the problem?

      Jean - 2012-04-13 06:06

      Thats a gud one.

      Vince.York - 2012-04-13 06:30

      Have they ever heard about "STAND UP & FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT & THEIRS"? Ah, in the darkest continent it's easiest to simply pick up your shop from the dusty pavement and FLEE

      JaredVN - 2012-04-13 08:17

      During the 1970's black Zimbos rose up and took up arms against what they saw as an injustice. So how come in 2011 they don't take up arms against Mugabe? Oh, wait, because it's much easier to become parasites sponging om SA.

  • Vince.York - 2012-04-13 06:25

    LOL, THIS must be where the confusion arose! in that they are all holed up in classrooms in the eastern cape, chunneling R5Bill funds to Zim!!!!!!!! AND HEADED TO DESTABILIZE THE WESTERN CAPE

  • Carry - 2012-04-13 07:10


  • Jayson - 2012-04-13 07:29

    Girrighambas and kweri kweras. Eish ANC dees braddas are eating our jobs, eish!! Is to much. Seriously,,, this is the a big problem in this country. Can't the ANC wake up and smell the coffee. The unemployment rate is so high already. Let alone the preposterous crime statistics we are sitting with. There is nothing wrong with seeking asylum in another country. But on this magnitude its unbelievable. Let's sort out our problems first. Before we extend our hand to other countries.

  • Forsure - 2012-04-13 13:53

    what about if i am from west africa and my date to renew my paper falls on Wednesday,should i wait till Thursday or i can come on the date of expires with is Wednesday

      Sharon - 2012-06-07 17:53

      wait a month then go to immigration

  • pages:
  • 1