South Africa: Lockdown - Hundreds of Cape Town Refugees Still Sleeping in Church, On Pavement

The City of Cape Town is waiting on a response from the national government regarding the evacuation of hundreds of refugees still living in the Methodist Church, and the break-away group camping on a pavement near the central police station.

"The City is liaising with all spheres of government and awaits instruction from national government to resolve this matter as soon as possible," said Richard Bosman, Executive Director for Safety and Security, on Monday.

Earlier, people were seen brushing their teeth and washing on the street after another night huddled on the pavement, in spite of regulations banning gatherings of more than 100 people.

The Central Methodist Mission had expected the evacuation of the group in the church to have started last Friday.

The City said it was looking for suitable land.

The group originally moved to the Central Methodist Mission after being evicted from a sit-in at the Waldorf Arcade in the hope of getting the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to relocate them to a third country. They say they are unsafe in South Africa because they are foreign nationals.

The UNHCR and government departments have made it clear that this is not possible.


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