Press review August 2019

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Foreigners protest at Joburg Court, want arrested migrants released from custody 12 August 2019

Foreign nationals protested outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday, calling for the release of others migrants who were arrested following raids in the CBD.

The foreigners were arrested after being unable to produce documents proving that they were in the country legally and allegations that they were being being unfairly treated in custody sparked the protest.

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ANALYSIS: The foreign invasion? How the anti-immigrant backlash makes us all unsafe 24 August 2019

Over the past two weeks, the government has taken drastic actions against immigrants in the name of safety and sovereignty. This includes a massive raid on counterfeit goods sold informally on Johannesburg streets. When the largely immigrant street-traders resisted, the police retreated swearing to return.

A few days later, they regrouped and arrested close to 600 people. Many were undocumented, others had documents in orders. A few were citizens. At least two were South Africans the police presumed were foreign. Yesterday, citizens of Soweto continued to “revenge” the police by looting foreign-run Spaza shops in what appears to have been a locally coordinated attack.

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South African government accused of xenophobia over its treatment of migrants 23 August 2019

The arraignment on Monday of hundreds of African migrants considered illegal by the authorities was met with forceful protests outside the Johannesburg magistrate court. The African nationals had been arrested during a raid of migrant-owned shops in the city the previous week. Police charged them with flouting immigration laws by entering the country illegally.

Several court rooms were packed to the brim as hundreds of the arrested immigrants appeared in groups. They looked traumatized, shocked and depressed. Many who had no documents were immediately sent to the Lindela repatriation center, from where they will be deported to their countries of origin.

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 One More Way to Die: Delivering Food in Cape Town’s Gig Economy 24 August 2019

He had delivered his last food order for the evening and was driving home from Pinelands, a suburb in Cape Town, when an oncoming car swung in front of him, knocking him off his motorbike.

Friends and family arrived within 20 minutes, but the motorcyclist, Christian Hakomeyimana, was already dead. A 20-year-old Rwandan migrant, he had been a contractor for Mr. D Food, an online food delivery service popular in South Africa.

“That car hit him so hard,” said Xavier Nshimiyamana, one of his closest friends. The bike, he said, was smashed to pieces — “completely beyond repair.”

Mr. Hakomeyimana’s death in the July 5 crash was just one in a rising number of casualties among food delivery workers in South Africa. The emergence here of food delivery apps like Mr. D Food and Uber Eats has drawn thousands of motorbike riders — predominantly migrants — into poorly regulated and highly precarious work.

A recent Ipsos global study, coinciding with World Refugee Day, shows that 71% of South Africans tend to be more supportive of refugees seeking sanctuary, even though 66% of those polled doubt their motivation.

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Migrants and their children to get access to NHI, says Gauteng health MEC

news24com 21 August 2019

Migrants and asylum seekers will have access to Gauteng’s hospitals when the National Health Insurance (NHI) is implemented.

“Migrant access to health care will not be affected in any way, the Constitution guarantees anyone access to health care.

“The NHI fund guarantees that registered migrants, asylum seekers, etc. – you will still have access,” Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku has revealed.

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A Unique Picture of Migration Patterns in South Africa Can Help Urban Planning 2 August 2019

Economic disparities, inequality and unemployment, particularly among young people, remain pervasive in South Africa. Lack of access to services and inadequate living conditions also affect people’s quality of life, health and well-being.

Urban living holds the promise of improved conditions. But many people relocating to South Africa’s metropolitan areas have to contend with a host of challenges. These include crowded living conditions, informal housing, inadequate sanitation, and possible exposure to crime and violence. Added to this is the fact that it’s difficult to access education, employment and healthcare.

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Nigerian Refugees Start Voluntary Return from Cameroon 23 August 2019

At least 130 Nigerian refugees who fled the Boko Haram insurgency have been flown back from Cameroon in the first phase of a voluntary repatriation exercise organized by the host state, their country Nigeria and the United Nations.

The group of 133 refugees from 25 families was bound for Yola in Nigeria’s Adamawa state, expressing hope they will find peace in their country after several years of atrocities that made them escape.

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Refugees in Libya face “catastrophic” conditions 14 August 2019

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), there are about 50,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya, along with some 800,000 migrants. According to the UN definition, a refugee is a person who has fled violence or persecution, while migrants are those seeking a better life abroad.

No one knows exactly how many people are being held in illegal camps in Libya, which is currently overrun by violence and chaos. Hyun-Ho Cha, spokesperson for Amnesty International in Berlin, said that the country’s civil war has left its infrastructure crippled. Cha said this means there is hardly a difference between state-run or illegal camps.

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Countries fail to honour Uganda refugee funds pledges 4 August 2019

The failure by the international community to honour financial pledges made to Uganda during a Solidarity Summit on Refugees is hindering the country’s ability to look after them, authorities have said. There are at least 1.5 million refugees in Uganda, the majority from South Sudan.

President Yoweri Museveni together with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres hosted the Solidarity Summit in Kampala in June 2017 to help raise money to support the high number of refugees that the country was receiving from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

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Rwanda offers migrants stuck in Libya, Niger a safe haven 4 August 2019

Rwanda will soon start receiving hundreds of African immigrants who are stranded in detention centres North Africa, as part of concerted emergency efforts by humanitarian agencies and the European Union to stop the migration caravan.

According to media reports, the Paul Kagame administration is ready to host the now homeless Africans, and its officials recently visited Niger, where close to 1,000 immigrants are held in detention centres.

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Opinion: The latest bad immigration idea from the White House? Letting local officials refuse refugees 21 June 2019

There are two things the nation can be sure of 31 months into the Trump administration. First, President Trump’s inability to tell the truth and stick to it, as well as his predilection to unilaterally tear up international agreements, have turned the U.S. government into an entity whose word cannot be trusted. Second, if there is a bad idea, this administration will embrace it.

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Europeans still argue migrants 4 August 2019

After picking up 40 migrants, the NGO Sea-Eye has challenged Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini, saying they will never return migrants to Libya. Breitbart reports in its article NGO Tells Salvini They Will Never Land ‘Rescued’ Migrants in Nearby Libya that the defiant NGO addressed the populist League leader in comments reported by IlGiornale, saying: “We will obey international law and we will not bring anyone back to a country at war. Libya is not a safe haven.”

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