South Africa: Former Angolan refugees face uncertain future

Published: 4/Jun/2018
Source: GroundUp (South Africa)

They were expecting permanent residence, but they have been offered four years in South Africa instead

By Tariro Washinyira

The Scalabrini Centre is concerned by a Home Affairs decision to issue a non-renewable Angolan Special Permit (ASP) that expires in 2021. While welcoming the permit because it allows former Angolan refugees to work and study in South Africa, Scalabrini — which advocates for immigrant rights — has been negotiating permanent residence for the former refugees.

The organisation is now worried that that the non-renewable aspect of the permit will mean that the path to permanent residence has been blocked. Holders of the new permit cannot apply for residency in South Africa and the conditions of the permit cannot be changed.

“We are relieved by [Home Affairs’s] decision to document this small, integrated and economically active group. However the fact that the ASPs expire in 2021 creates great uncertainty regarding the future of this group of people, who have integrated economically and socially over the last 20 years in South Africa,” said a Scalabrini statement last week.

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Themes: Nationality and Refugees
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2018