In July 2012, the Department of Home Affairs made a policy decision to close the Refugee Reception Offices in the southern provinces of South Africa, but specifically the Cape Town Office to newcomers. In addition, this policy requires all persons that did not originally receive their permits in Cape Town to now return to their office of first application if they wish to reside in South Africa legally and have their permits extended. The effect of this policy is to restrict the movement of asylum seekers to the northern areas of South Africa.
The UCT Refugee Rights Unit would like to condemn in the strongest possible terms the Xenophobic Violence in 2015 and stands in opposition to any attempts to intimidate, attack, kill or in any other way harm or unfairly discriminate against foreign nationals in South Africa.
On the 6th of May, Kramer Law School Building hosted a public interest careers expo. Non-governmental organisations and law clinics showed up to promote their organisation's public interest involvement. Our two research assistants, Lisa Wood and Shamima Allie, represented the UCT Refugee Rights Unit at this event. The expo was aimed at students of the law faculty and was intended to inform them of the options they could pursue in the public interest side of the law.
In 2013, the UCT Refugee Rights Unit produced the textbook Refugee Law in South Africa. The book was edited by Fatima Khan and Tal Schreier and published by Juta and Co Ltd. Fatima Khan motivated in her acknowledgements why a textbook on refugee law is so crucial: "I am committed to the view that the law and knowledge of the law can make a critical difference to the well-being of refugees in South Africa."