Pretoria – The Refugee Centre in Crown Mines, Johannesburg, will close its doors from 1 June, says the Department of Home Affairs.
The closure comes as a result of a court judgment handed down by the South Gauteng High Court in March this year, Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said.
“The judgment was a result of a challenge by the business community in the area to the existence of the Refugee Centre on the basis of what that they considered ‘an extreme nuisance and irritation factor’ caused by the large presence of refugees and/or asylum seekers in the area,” he explained.
The businesses complained that the refugees and asylum seekers littered, misbehaved, created a traffic hazard and made conditions intolerable for business, Apleni noted.
The court ordered the department to relocate the Refugee Centre to a different area in Johannesburg.
Apleni said the department had decided to move and transfer operations of the Crown Mines Refugee Centre to the Refugee Reception Centre in Pretoria West.
“However, the department is of the view that the long-term solution to these public complaints lies in the possible establishment of asylum/refugee reception centres along the border areas, near ports of entry administered by the department,” he added.
The department was currently considering this and other options, Apleni said. – BuaNews