19 March 2021 - NW29
Msane, Ms TP to ask the Minister of Home Affairs
(a)(i) What total number of refugees from the Southern African Development Community countries have received refugee status in the Republic and (ii) where are they housed and (b) are all the refugees receiving (i) social assistance and (ii) medical assistance?
(a)(i) According to DHA system, there are currently 40 455 persons from the SADC region with the recognised refugee status.
(ii) South African government has signed the 1951 United Nations Convention without any reservations, including settlement and encampment, whilst other Member States have signed the Convention with the obligation to settlements and encampment in order to house and control the movement of refugees and asylum seekers. Therefore, in South Africa asylum seekers and refugees reside where they wish to, if there are those that are indigent they are able to approach UNHCR to seek assistance for accommodation, whilst refugees do qualify to apply for RDP houses.
(b)(i) Not all refugees are indigent and dependant on social grants. Those who require such assistance do approach the Department of Social Development that would subject them to the necessary means test like South African citizens and receive grant if they qualify.
(ii) Section 27(1) (a) of the Bill of Rights provide that; everyone has the right to have access to ¬health care services, including reproductive health care. Therefore, the Department of Health has its protocols and procedures to deal with persons who attend their health facilities.