Ekurhuleni send over 200 displaced foreign nationals home

Ekurhuleni send over 200 displaced foreign nationals home

Autopax bus. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Those who remain will be reintegrated into local communities.

About 221 foreign nationals who were housed at the two shelters set up by the City of Ekurhuleni in Katlehong, have left for their countries of origin on Thursday.

Ninety-six Zimbabwean nationals left Tsholo Hall in Katlehong in two buses in the morning, while 125 Mozambique nationals left in the afternoon in three buses from DH Williams Hall, also in Katlehong.

The body of Isaac Sithole from Zimbabwe, who lost his life during the attacks at Mandela Park informal settlement in Katlehong, was also repatriated.

Ekurhuleni speaker of council, Ald Patricia Kumalo, officiated over a prayer service to send off Sithole, and led the procession that went to Mandela informal settlement where Sithole died for his family to perform cultural rituals.

During the prayer service, Kumalo urged residents of Ekurhuleni to denounce attacks on foreign nationals. She also said that the City would continue working with the relevant departments, embassies and consulates of different countries to curb the attacks.

The Zimbabwean nationals, comprising 113 adults and 23 children, were ferried in three buses. All children that left the centres were with their parents.

The City worked with the concerned embassies, consulates and Department of Home Affairs for documentation of the undocumented and those who lost their immigration documents during the attacks.

The City, in addition to providing humanitarian services to the displaced, worked in collaboration with NGOs, faith-based organisations and relevant government departments to ensure safe repatriation of the displaced persons who wished to return to their countries of origin.

The respective consulates carried the costs for the repatriation.

Those who remain will be reintegrated into local communities after the necessary consultations have been done with affected communities. The consultations have already started.

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