Source: Scalabrini Centre (Cape Town)
It is 15 February 2017, and the sun has barely risen. At Scalabrini’s offices in the centre of Cape Town, a group of advocacy officers meet to transport hundreds of files to the South African parliament. Despite their exhaustion, adrenalin flows: since November 2016, they have been collecting thousands of application forms from former Angolan refugees, and today is the deadline for submission.
Within these files are 1,737 applications, each documenting the lives of applicants who have established themselves in South Africa over the last twenty years. After filling dozens of boxes with this precious cargo, Scalabrini’s employees delivered the 160 lever-arch files to the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA). Here, the Minister will consider each individual’s application to remain in South Africa permanently.