ATM slams ruling ordering inclusion of asylum seekers in R350 COVID-19 relief grant

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The African Transformation Movement (ATM) says it has noted the judgment by the High Court in Pretoria, ordering Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu to include asylum seekers in the COVID-19 R350 social relief grant.

Making the order on Thursday, Judge Selby Baqwa said special permit holders should also qualify.

The ATM says while the judgment is humane, it is a bit off.

In the video below, High Court rules that asylum seekers qualify for the R350 social relief grant:

ATM says it is puzzled that asylum seekers were able to successfully argue that their industries were affected by the lockdown that’s in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The party says asylum seekers should not be competing with South Africans in any economic trading space.

“It cannot be fair and just for South Africans to be roaming the streets whilst low level jobs in the hospitality and tourism industries are taken by intentional immigrants. As a result, ATM is concerned about intentional migration has been confused and conflated with asylum seekers,” the party said in a statement.

The party has called on government to implement immigration policies that don’t undermine the provisions of the United Nations Conventions.

“Furthermore, South Africa must consider aligning with UN Conventions and establish refugee camps so that asylum seekers can be cared for appropriately instead of the current approach of integrating refugees with communities.”

ATM says the Department of Home Affairs must advise Minister Zulu on how immigrants are categorised so that South Africa’s fiscus should not be used for cases that should be funded by the UN.

The party says Refugee Status must be given according to UN regulations.

It says that the government is already struggling with its own citizens, with the number of grant applicants far exceeding available funds.

The party says that when refugees are provided with benefits that they qualify for, it causes friction within communities who already feel crowded by foreigners.

“It cannot be that the UN funding is not utilised for its primary purpose, if not, then the government must explain how this funding has been deployed,” the party said in the statement.

ATM has advised Zulu to separate asylum seekers from intentional immigrants and implement the court order on genuine asylum seekers.

“South Africans must come first in the fiscus of South Africa.”