Plans afoot to relocate foreign nationals living in Cape Town CBD

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Plans are underway to relocate hundreds of foreign nationals living in the Cape Town CBD. A site for their relocation has been identified in Bellville and should be ready soon.

Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille and other city and government officials visited the area on Tuesday.

In the video below, foreign nationals express disappointment over the court  ruling for their removal from the streets:  

Marquees, which can accommodate up to 600 people, are being erected for foreign nationals living in the Central Methodist Church and near the police station.

De Lille, together with Mayoral Committee Member for community services, Zahid Badroodien and Land Reform Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha, visited the area to inspect progress made and see for themselves what still needs to be done.

They all later briefed the media on the way forward.

De Lille says relocation will start once the site is serviced with water and sanitation facilities.

“For now, we have prioritised the refugees because we are very concerned. We are sitting on a time bomb in the church. No social distancing. Even the refugees in the streets at the moment always congregate in groups of hundred and more. So, it is of concern with the coronavirus. We are working together. This is the first site we are preparing. We are in the process of procuring another marquee like this in Maitland.”

Mayoral Committee Member in the City of Cape Town Zahid Badroodien has welcomed the cooperation between the City and the national government in an attempt to relocate the refugees.

“We will now continue to move in terms of the instructions in the interdict, to move the individuals to this location, obviously depending on the availability of water and toilets,  which we will be working on so that these individuals can be housed in this facility.”

Land Reform Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha says it is crucial that the site has water and sanitation before the foreign nationals are moved into the place.

” My worry is the issue of water and ablution facilities. We will have to work together to make sure when people come and stay here, they are able to drink water; they are able to use ablution facilities.”

Hundreds of foreign nationals have been demanding relocation out of South Africa since October last year. They say they do not feel safe anymore.

De Lille says the plan to move them to the site in Bellville will involve the City, Home Affairs and the South African Police Services.