REFUGEE CENTER CLOSES DOWN
By: Nomcebo Ndimande
The eThekwini Municipality has closed the Chatsworth Refugee Center that temporarily sheltered over 2000 people due to xenophobic attacks.
The Municipality had also organized other safety centers in the Phoenix and Isipingo areas, but these centers also have closed since the attacks have stopped.
“These camps have helped us very much, and we did appreciate it a lot,” said Steven Peters, a Zimbabwean refugee. “We don’t even want to go back to our places, because we are still scared but we are ready to move on with our lives.”
The refugee centers were organized to keep each foreigner safe during the attacks.
Foreign nationals have since been given the opportunity to plead to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) donations that range from R3000 to R7000 that will help them re-start their lives.
Spokesperson of the UNHCR Adam Gilbertt, who was present during the evictions, listened to the refugees as they were pleading for help.
“We did plead to the people in charge of all of this, and we do hope they pull through for us,” said Chidzu Oko, one of the people who used the refugee camp as a home during the attacks.
“We need the money to start everything afresh; we need food, places, and money to start our businesses again, and we are waiting patiently for the response.”
Xenophobic attacks in Durban have since calmed down.