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Recognising the Contributions made by Refugee and Migrant Men in their Host Countries

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) joins the world in celebrating the International Men’s Day. The Day is celebrated on 19 November every year since 1999. The theme for 2014 is:  working together with men and boyswith the focus on celebrating Men’s positive contributions and improve gender relations.

According to the International Men’s Day website, the objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day include focusing on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models.  Hence CoRMSA is recorgnising the achievements and contributions of refugees and migrants men in their host countries. Furthermore,  we highlight the plight of refugee and migrant boys and men who are sometimes victims of xenophobic attacks which often negatively affects their livelihoods.  This often affects their ability to contribute towards economic development both in their countries of origin (in the form of remittances) and their host country.

CoRMSA believes that Refugee and Migrant boys and men also enrich societies through cultural diversity and other critical elements of development. Most Refugee and Migrant men have been absorbed in the different sectors, if well recognised refugee and migrant men have the potential to benefit South Africa as a country through critical skills transfer, cultural diversity and economic development.

CoRMSA urges all including civil society organisations, Chapter 9 institutions, government departments, various communities, private instutions and ordinary citizens to recorgnise the contributions and achievements made by men and boys and to work together with men and boys in order to achieve a gender balanced society and eliminate discrimination.

For more information contact:

Mr Thifulufheli Sinthumule, Advocacy Officer

Tel: +27 11 403 7560

Cell: +27 (0) 78 287 1485

Intolerance has no place in the democratic South Africa

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) joins the world in observing the International Day for Tolerance. In 1996, the UN General Assembly invited member states to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November each year. CoRMSA considers this an important day to promote peaceful co-existence by different groups. CoRMSA further stands in solidarity with those who are affected by intolerance in the country whether based on their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender and/or sexual orientation, religion or political opinion.

The International Day for Tolerance challenges every member of the South African society and the rest of the world to embrace one another and look beyond differences. UNESCO defines tolerance as respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of the world’s cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human. In essence tolerance supports harmony in difference. It is by observing tolerance that the culture of conflict and discord is translated into the culture of peace and harmony.

However, it is disturbing to see a country like South Africa with progressive legislative and policy frameworks still grappling with intolerance in various forms. Xenophobia is still a problem in many local communities with attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses. This often makes many foreign nationals and others within communities to lose their livelihoods and sometimes force them to leave their homes thus constraining them into conditions that are not good for fear of further victimisation.

In observing this Day, CoRMSA would like to appeal to all who live in South Africa to embrace the spirit of tolerance and affirm the standards set by the Constitution and other international human rights instruments.

We also call on the South African government through the Department of Justice to conduct sectorial consultations that will allow the finalisation of the National Action Plan to tackle Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances. Furthermore, we call for the introduction of comprehensive stand alone hate crimes legislation in order to prosecute those who commit hate crimes and crimes of intolerance.

For more information contact:

Mr Thifulufheli Sinthumule, Advocacy Officer

Tel: +27 11 403 7560

Cell: +27 (0) 78 287 1485

Ms Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane, Executive Director

Tel: +27 11 403 7560/2

Cell: +27 (0) 83 257 9015

Collection of Refugee Identity Document

On the 18 October 2014 CoRMSA, UNHCR and DHA held a stakeholders meeting at one of their member organisation Refugee Pastoral Care Boardroom, Berea. The purpose of the meeting were: Uncollected Refugee IDs Briefing. The meeting was attended by CoRMSA members, partners and various stakeholders including community leaders. Participants were briefed by DHA on how the dispatching of those uncollected refugee IDs will be processed. The process will take place in Gauteng and Western Cape Province.

IMG_0177 (3)

This week from the 20th to 24 October 2014 will focus on Gauteng and the following week from 27 to 31 October 2014 will be dedicated to Western Cape Province with the stakeholder meeting scheduled to take place on the 24 October 2014  between 10am and 12pm at  Customs House in Cape Town, Regional Home Affairs Office. Refugee IDs beneficiaries are welcome to attend this meeting and should bring their application receipt.

NB: This week has been earmarked for collection of Refugee IDs in Gauteng in response to efforts to get DHA to distribute the many IDs they have ready for collection at their office.

Please can you pass on the information to your colleagues, comrades, stakeholders, community members et al. that all refugees who applied for IDs before 31 March 2014 should go to Tshwane Interim Refugee Reception Office (TIRRO) in Pretoria Show Ground to check and collect their ID documents today and Friday.

This week is specially dedicated for refugee ID collections at TIRRO Office regardless of their nationalities.

The week of 27 to 31 October 2014 will be dedicated to Western Cape.

Your spreading of this message will be highly appreciated.

Collection of Refugee Identity Cards Processed before March 2014 in Gauteng Province

The Department of Home Affairs has embarked on the dispatch of uncollected Refugee IDs processed before March 2014. All concerned applicants are encouraged to visit the Tshwane Interim Refugee Reception Office to collect their IDs. Following is how the process is going to unfold:

 

Who is eligible?

 

Those who applied for refugee identity cards before 31 March 2014 at Refugee Reception Offices in Gauteng

 

When and where to collect?

 

Date: 20 to 24 October 2014

Venue: Department of Home Affairs

Tshwane Interim Refugee Reception Office (TIRRO) – Pretoria Showgrounds

Pretoria

 

What documents to bring?

 

Receipt of application of refugee identity cards together with the Refugee Status Permit

 

Zimbabwe Special Permits

Mr Jackie McKay, the DHA’s DDG of Immigration Services and the head of the Zimbabwe Special Permit (ZSP) called for a meeting recently to brief stakeholders on the progress made regarding the ZSP and share how application processes would unfold.  He indicated that ZSP will be open to every Zimbabwean national who applied for the Zimbabwean Dispensation Project permits in 2009, meaning even those whose applications were rejected would be allowed to reapply.

Applications will be made online from 01 October to 31 December 2014 and applicants will have to contact the call centre immediately after submitting the information on the website to book an appointment for in-person submissions. In-person applications (submission of required documents and biometrics) will be done per appointment only from 01 November to 30 April 2015. Adjudication of applications will take a maximum of 8 weeks. Applicants will pay R800 for the permit.

 ZSP applications can be made online at:  http://vfsglobal.com/zsp/southafrica/

 Please contact info@vfshelpline.com for inquiries.