South Africa

South Africa: Proposal for funding for the provision of emergency relief to displaced and evicted locals and foreign nationals

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  1. BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Project Title Provision of Emergency Relief to People Affected by Urban Violence
in Gauteng
Project Location Gauteng Province
Project Beneficiaries South African Nationals and foreign migrants
Project Goal Improve the living conditions of displaced locals and foreign nationals
affected by urban violence
Project Objective To provide basic humanitarian care: render services: and offer support
to the affected locals and migrants.
Expected Results In targeted sites, project beneficiaries:
- Are identified, enrolled and their needs assessed
- Receive basic, adequate food and non-food relief assistance
- Receive adequate community-based healthcare and support
- Have access to Family Reunification and Tracing services
Project Duration Two Months (with possible extension, based on the needs)
Project Budget R1,000,000
Contact Persons Mr Mbuso MTHEMBU
Provincial Manager
The South African Red Cross Society
Region 1 - Provincial Office
Tel: (011) 873 5595/6364/6373
Fax: (011) 873 5590
Mobile: 079 499 9590
Email: mmthembu@redcross.org.za

Mr. David Stephens
Acting Secretary General
The South African Red Cross Society
Mobile: 084 300 4497
Email: dstephens@redcross.org.za

2. Background:

Since the advent of its democratic dispensation in 1994, South Africa has become a primary destination and point of transit for people from across the African continent and beyond.

On one hand, there is a mix of people who come to South Africa seeking protection, prosperity, or passage, while on the other, a small but important number of this population are migrants who have been forced to flee their respective countries for various reasons and seek safety in South Africa.

Whereas these people come from across the world, historically the largest numbers have been coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo; Somalia; Ethiopia; Angola; Burundi; Rwanda; and more recently, Zimbabwe.

While the number of Zimbabwean migrants has increased substantially in the last five years, it remains small in comparison to some other African countries such as Tanzania; Uganda; and Kenya. Between the years 2000 and 2006, South Africa has had approximately two hundred thousand applications for asylum, part of one of the clear indications of the extent of the problem.

CURRENT SITUATION:

The situation has recently worsened, with violence being reported in up to 18 other locations around Gauteng, including Johannesburg City Centre and informal settlements in the East Rand and West Rand. The South African Red Cross Society (SARCS) branches in Johannesburg and Soweto have moved in to the affected areas and discovered that the evictions, intimidation and violence are taking place. The locals are showing sings of anger and violence towards foreign nationals as well as other South African nationals.

Soweto Area:

- The Branch Field Officer, Mr Vusi Mthembu has moved quickly to the scene to assess the situation and determine what the needs of the victims are and what Red Cross response shall be.

- It is reported that the public was held and they have targeted an areas were all the Mozambicans are working with cars (panel beaters and mechanics) and they foreign nationals were told to leave the area and return to Mozambique.

- Pamphlets were also distributed stating that the Mozambicans should go back home by 15th May 2008 and on the 16th May 2008 if they are found in the area, they will be killed.

- There is a strong possibility that more areas in Soweto were the foreign nationals are residing violence might spark at any time.

- The local ANC Branch has called an emergency public meeting trying to calm down the situation and warning the community to stop intimidating and harassing the foreign nationals.

Diepsloot Area:

- The Team from the Region 1 - Provincial Office went to Diepsloot to assess the situation since it was aired on the news that renewed and more intense violence has sparked again in Diepsloot whereby the SA Police were engaged in the exchange of life ammunition with the locals.

- The foreign nationals had to run for their safety in the nearby bushes in groups, at present are so afraid of locals they do not know who is bringing help or harm to them. The situation is extremely distressing and the victims are more vulnerable

- The Red Cross has to pull-out at the scene as the situation was becoming dangerous for SARCS to operate.

- SARCS could not manage to access the displaced and victimized since they was a heavy battle going on between the police and defiant locals. The area remained dangerous for SARCS to

continue with the assessment, assessment will resume on Friday once the area is calm and safe to operate and bring aid to the affected.

Tembisa Area:

- Our Volunteer in Tembisa (Kempton Park) called the office that the 28 foreign nationals were robbed of their possessions returning from work and they were told to go back to native countries since they are took jobs from locals.

- The foreign nationals managed to contact the police for protection, the police managed to salvage the situation on time.

- The affected were taken to Lindela for repatriation or place of safety (we still awaiting more evidence in this regard.