ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

01 JULY 2015

CHATSWORTH INTERIM SHELTER IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED AS AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS ARE SUCCESSFULLY REINTEGRATED

The Chatsworth interim shelter, which was the only remaining place of refuge set up by government to protect displaced African immigrants is officially closed as of Wednesday, 01/07/2015.

The last of the marquees and tents that had once housed over 2000 displaced African immigrants during the past few months have been removed from the site.

The Chatsworth shelter was one of the three temporary shelters set up during the violent attacks which left many African immigrants destitute. Two of the shelters closed recently due to the successful reintegration of affected émigré communities and the Chatsworth shelter was the last remaining shelter.

The African immigrants were given the opportunity to apply for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) grants between R3300 and R7000, depending of the size of the families.

The aim of establishing the interim shelter was to protect the displaced African immigrants from the then volatile situation they faced back in their communities. However, after assessing the conditions and conducting extensive social community dialogues through the Provincial Department of Community Safety and Liaison, government is pleased that the situation has normalised. This therefore, meant that the shelter should cease to operate.

There was an outpour of support from various stakeholders including the non-government sector who donated food, personal hygiene and baby supplies. All the Non-Profit Organisations who worked with the City at the shelter, did so on a voluntary basis.

Owing to the fact that the situation in communities has stabilised, most of the donors have withdrawn their services, as they see that there is no longer any violence directed at African immigrants in communities.

We would like to thank all those who worked with government, including all the Non-Profit Organisations, religious leaders, church groups, business people and residents for their unwavering support in order to create a truly united African continent and ensure that peace and harmony returns to the areas where there was violence against African immigrants.

ENDS

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za