Press Review 15 November 2018

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Tags: immigration policy refugees; migrants sub-saharan Africa

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa


Groups fear Home Affairs won’t meet refugee centre reopening deadline 7 November 2018

Refugee advocacy groups are wary that the Refugee Reception Office in Cape Town won’t be opened as predicted by the Department of Home Affairs. Initially, the office was supposed to be opened in March this year, but the department missed that deadline. Miranda Madikane, the director of the Scalabrini Centre, said: “As per the Supreme Court judgment the department should be issuing monthly updates as to their process and planning for the reopening. We have only received reports inconsistently, and the few reports we have received have been tardy, scant in detail, copy and paste from previous reports with no updates or changes made to planning deadlines not yet achieved, and addressed to other individuals. “We do not feel confident in the department’s sincerity to open the office as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Teen separated from parents after Home Affairs official ‘tears up his passport’ 1 November 2018

On 21 September, court papers were filed in an application lodged against the minister and the director general (DG) for declaring a visa application by a Zimbabwean child fraudulent and banning him from returning to SA for five years, GroundUp reported. As a result of the department’s action, Wadzanai Bello has been separated from her 16-year-old son, Tinashe Bello, since March. He has missed a year of schooling.After years of threatening, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is making a pointed effort to push through regulatory change that could have major repercussions for foreigners looking to visit, study, work and live in South Africa. While the DHA initially hoped to have the regulatory changes implemented, the process of approval has been hamstrung by public comment feedback, and thus a final date for implementation has yet to be confirmed.

Pro bono attorneys challenge UIF ‘discrimination’ 10 November 2018

The Department of Labour has been accused of infringing on the constitutional rights of asylum seekers and refugees because of alleged discrimination in providing access to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). Each month, most formal employers will deduct a portion of a worker’s salary to contribute to the UIF, as is legally required. The fund is a lifeline for thousands of formerly employed people across the country, but it appears that the labour department is purposefully excluding asylum seekers – even those who have contributed and are entitled to unemployment benefits. Now, after representing an asylum seeker who has allegedly been denied UIF benefits for two years, the the Pro Bono and Human Rights Practice at the law firm Cliffe Dekker Hoffmeyr is considering bringing court proceedings against the Department to obtain relief for a Congolese National, Ndaye Mungedi. This could set an important precedent for others.


South Africa scraps short-term visa requirements for Kenyans 5 November 2018

Kenyan business people and students travelling to South Africa will now be issued with multiple entry visas valid for up to 10 years. Frequent travellers will be eligible for three-year multiple entry visa, effective December 1, 2018. The country agreed to ease visa application rules and entry conditions for the above categories following deliberations between Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and South Africa Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in Pretoria on Monday. Government officials travelling on official business to South Africa will be granted three months free visa  immediately.

Rwandan man faces death if he is deported from South Africa 2 November 2018
Alex Ruta is a Rwandan national who worked for the Rwanda National Security Services. He was sent to South Africa by his superiors in 2014 but he had to enter the country illegally because he did not have a visa. Once in South Africa, Ruta learned that his task from Security Services was to assassinate members of the exiled opposition party, the Rwanda National Congress. He said he immediately reported this to the Hawks who put him under witness protection while an investigation was opened. Ruta said he told the Hawks that he wanted to apply for an asylum permit, but he was never given an opportunity to apply.

Play about refugees fleeing as relevant today as it was 12 years ago 6 November 2018

For some, moving is not as simple as packing up and leaving. It comes with rules and regulations. In May 2008, South Africa’s ideas of nationhood and belonging ignited and Africans and other migrants had their homes and shops burned and looted. In the span of 14 days, 30 00 people were displaced and 65 people had been killed, 21 of whom were South Africans. In 2006, just two years before the xenophobic attacks, Every Year, Every Day I Am Walking was commissioned by the African Theatre Festival for Children and Young People in Cameroon. The The play drew on the killings of Ethiopians and Somalis in Cape Town.  Created with Cape Town’s Magnet Theatre and directed by Mark Fleishman, with actors Faniswa Yisa and Jennie Reznek and music by Neo Muyanga, Every Day I Am Walking is the company’s longest-running production. It tells the story of a mother and her daughter who flee a Francophone country in Africa and their journey to Cape Town.


East African countries mull cross-border pact to boost efficiency 9 November 2018

Eight East African countries vowed Tuesday to establish inter-agency cross-border technical working groups to improve the efficiency of border operations. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which organized a meeting in Nairobi, said Ethiopia and South Sudan have agreed to conduct joint, cross-border patrols and to work together to open new border crossings points between the two countries.

IOM Trends Analysis: Most Horn of Africa Migrants Move within Region 9 November 2018

Nearly 400,000 migrant movements were recorded in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia during the first six months of 2018 – an average of 2,000 or more individuals per day. It is an active migration zone, characterized by what is considered “mixed” migration – or the movement of different population groups for a variety of reasons. A slim majority (51%) of these individuals are moving from, but also within, the Horn of Africa, followed by about 35 per cent whose movements are towards the Gulf Cooperation Council countries on the eastern route – through Djibouti, Somaliland and Puntland. Smaller movements are being tracked along the Southern Route (to South Africa) and the Northern Route (to Egypt and Israel), about 8 and 5 per cent, respectively.


A precarious haven: Africa’s LGBT+ refugees teeter on the brink 1 November  2018

First came the anonymous phone calls in the dead of night. Then the chilling text messages detailing how he would be “hunted down”. It was only after he was attacked and lay bruised and bleeding in a public toilet that Joe fled to Kenya. But four years on, the country he believed would be a safe haven for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) refugees like himself has been more like a living hell.


Migrant caravan presses on towards US, defying Trump 10 November 2018

Thousands of migrants from a Central American caravan pressed on with their journey towards the US after leaving a sports stadium in the city of Querétaro on Sunday, in defiance of Donald Trump’s move to tighten rules for asylum seekers. Television images showed large groups of migrants sitting at a toll booth on the motorway, hoping for a lift to their next destination in the colonial town of Guanajuato. At least two other caravans following in their wake were making slow progress towards Mexico City. They are fleeing economic hardship along with extortion and violence by gangs born in the US but flourishing in Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle countries after mass deportations in the 1990s.

Refugees challenge our willingness to share 11 November 2018

Refugees are displaced people who nobody wants Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY). Since the Second World War, we have the biggest movement of millions of minorities, stateless people, and refugees fleeing war, genocide, poverty and fear looking for a happier life. They are unwanted and unwelcome, falling through the cracks of human rights and crisis responses. Their sheer numbers are stretching aid organizations and national budgets and stoking extreme racism.

How China Creates Cancer Refugees 11 November 2018

A rural resident in China is 30 percent more likely to die after a cancer diagnosis than an urban resident. Three rural families trying to beat these odds — “cancer refugees” — share their stories of battling the disease far from home and the financial ruin it causes










Tags: immigration policy    refugees; migrants    sub-saharan Africa   

Categorised in: Press Review