Cape Town refugee centre must be opened by end of March

Constitutional Court rejects Home Affairs application for leave

Photo of queue outside Home Affairs

Queue outside Home Affairs Refugee Reception Office on Cape Town’s Foreshore. Archive photo: Tariro Washinyira

By GroundUp Staff

15 December 2017

On Thursday the Constitutional Court rejected an application for leave to appeal by the Department of Home Affairs.

The Department was appealing a decision by Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA). The SCA ruled in September that Home Affairs must “reopen and maintain a fully functional refugee reception office in or around the Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, by Friday 31 March 2018.” (See Court decision a victory for asylum seekers)

Currently the Cape Town centre on the Foreshore does not accept new applications from asylum seekers. Nor does it accept applications from people who received asylum in other cities.

The Constitutional Court wrote that the Department’s application should be dismissed “as it bears no prospect of success”.

The case was brought by the Scalabrini Centre and the Somali Association of South Africa, as well as five asylum seekers.