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Shelters for foreigners to be closed

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Picture: (AFP/File/Rodger Bosch)

A group of foreign Africans, displaced by xenophobic attacks, live in temporary shelters, behind the Magistrates Court in Cape Town in June. While tens of thousands of Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and Nigerians fell victim to xenophobic attacks in May, thousands have returned home and others — gripped by fear and uncertainty — are waiting for the closure of the camps for displaced foreigners

The Gauteng provincial government says, all six shelters accommodating foreign nationals displaced by the xenophobic attacks of May will be closed within two weeks.

Social Development MEC Kgaogelo Lekoro says, "Based on the good progress made on the integration process, we are convinced that the remaining 3000 people who are still accommodated at the shelters will use the two weeks to either return to their homes or find alternative accommodation"

The shelters will be closed on August 15 and basic services such as water and electricity will be cut on that day.
Lekoro says it was not the intention of the government to create permanent separate settlements for foreign nationals.

Adding that, "Foreign nationals have lived in South Africa for many years and through their stay here they have lived side by side with locals."