Monday, October 19, 2009

Refugee rights group says the new centre’s capacity will be tested

By Ofentse Mokae
19 October 2009


People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty devoted to fighting for the rights of refugees in the city, says the capacity of the new refugee centre in Maitland will be tested.

The newly opened centre started business last week after Home Affairs was forced to relocate from Nyanga by a court order.

The new site is only temporary with permanent offices to be set up in the near future.

PASSOP says the while the move from Nyanga to Maitland is a big improvement, with the current premises having much more facilities it still remains under staffed.

“The number of refugee reception offices that are there are inadequate and the department will have to train and increase the staffing at the centre,” said Braam Hanekom Coordinator of the group.

Hanekom says while the department indicated it will address this, it remains worrying to them as there are no indications of that nature.

He said amongst other issues corruption, back logs on the system and security issues will have to be addressed.

Hanekom added that as most of the officials moved with the centre the next three weeks will have to be tested adequately.

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