Parliament, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs is disappointed that bickering between the Department of Home Affairs, Department of Public Works and the City of Cape Town continues unabated in the matter of the movement of refugees from the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town. This is despite the repeated advice from the committee for collaboration to deal with the matter.
While the committee acknowledges that the declaration of the National State of Disaster might have had an impact on the integration and implementation of the exit plan for the refugees, it is unfortunate that to this day there is no common purpose. “It is unacceptable that to this day when we should be looking at concluding the matter and finding solutions, there are no collective decisions but bickering and finger pointing and continuing disputes about the mandate of the different spheres of government,” said Adv Bongani Bongo, the Chairperson of the committee.
The bickering undermines the spirit of sections 40 and 41 of the Constitution, as well as the provisions of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act. “It is unacceptable that since 8 March this year when the committee took a resolution for reintegration, there has not been a tangible movement towards a conclusion,” Adv Bongo emphasised.
Despite this, the committee welcomes the announcement that there is a comprehensive exit plan that includes the reintegration of these refugees into the local society. The committee is in agreement that the implementation of this plan is urgent and all stakeholders must cooperatively work towards the implementation of this exit plan.
Meanwhile, it is also concerning that various reports of non-adherence to health protocols at the sites where the refugees have been placed. Also, the reports of an increase in the number of refugees at these sites must be investigated to ascertain who are the additional people, and if they have the necessary permits as the initial group.
To find workable solutions to this matter, the committee will undertake an oversight visit to both the Paint City and Wingfield temporary resettlement sites to assess the living conditions and ensure that the exit plan is implemented. The committee will review its programme and will announce the dates of the proposed oversight.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HOME AFFAIRS, ADVOCATE BONGANI BONGO
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
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