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Authorities have announced a plan to move about 1 600 xenophobia refugees out of community halls and two of the "safe sites" set up for them in Cape Town.
The move, to start on Thursday, would see them relocated to the Bluewaters and Harmony Park sites, where additional facilities including United Nations tents had been installed, officials told a media briefing on Wednesday.
The total number of refugees in the city has dropped from a high of 20 000 in June, after the xenophobic violence hit Cape Town, to about 3 200.
Of those, 900 are in community halls, 2 200 in the safe sites, and 100 at private facilities.
Mayor Helen Zille told a city council meeting on Wednesday morning that in "consolidating" shelter for the displaced foreign nationals, the authorities were being guided by last week's interim Constitutional Court ruling on the Gauteng government's obligations regarding displaced people.
The court, she said, had ruled that government had the right to consolidate safe sites and to take down individual shelters if they had been evacuated.
"In terms of the ruling, nobody is allowed to be forcefully moved from their shelter, unless for the consolidation of a site or to be taken to a repatriation facility," she said.
City housing director Hans Smit told the briefing that the existing Youngsfield site would stay open, but no more refugees would be moved there.
Bluewater and Harmony Park had been "redesigned and reconfigured", and would enjoy increased policing and an access control policy.
He said emptying the Soetwater site, where refugees have been particularly vocal about conditions and treatment, would possibly pose the biggest challenge.
"Everybody has been informed properly," he said.
The authorities would start by moving those who wanted to go, in the hope that they would encourage others to follow suit.
"Then we're obviously going to have to look at our options for those who don't want to move as such," Smit said.
He said authorities were also working towards closing down the last three camps in a month.
"We're hoping that by the end of September we'll have a minimal number of people left," he said.
Director of the Western Cape provincial disaster management centre Hildegard Fast said it was hoped to complete the move by Sunday, ahead of the start of the Muslim religious period of Ramadan. Consolidation would greatly help reintegration into communities or repatriation.
Fast said it appeared that most of those who had already left the sites or halls had gone back to the communities they were living in. - Sapa