Extended hours at Refugee Reception Offices

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pretoria - The Department of Home Affairs extended the hours of operation at its Refugee Reception Offices on Monday.

The offices, at the Pretoria Showgrounds and Marabastad in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Musina, will now operate from 7am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, the department said.

In addition, Refugee Reception offices will be open on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm.

Other changes at the offices include a schedule which will see asylum seekers from specific regions being attended to on allocated days.

Those from SADC countries will be attended to on Monday and Tuesday; East Africa on Wednesday and Saturday; West Africa on Thursday; and those from Asia and other countries will be attended to on Friday.

The department said it would be collaborating with police to help with queue management at the offices. Further support will come from the deployment of additional inspectorate officials to the offices.

The new measures come after an audit revealed a backlog in the review of decisions by the Refugees Appeal Board and the Standing Committee on Review Affairs, which stood at 87 602 and 68 740 respectively.

"The department reiterates its unwavering commitment to ensuring applications for asylum in South Africa are adjudicated and finalised efficiently so that we may indeed fulfil our international and moral obligations," the department added.