• Refugee Family’s Grant Card Rejected

    A Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) family, who are refugees in South Africa, were left cash-strapped for months after their children’s social grant card was rejected several times at South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).

    The father, who is concerned that someone was fraudulently collecting his family’s grants, says his five South African-born children aged between 10 months and 10 years were approved to receive the grants, but have not received anything for months.

    Meanwhile, SASSA spokesperson, Kgomoco Diseko, points out that, “The money was not collected until June and it lapsed. If a grant is not collected for three months, it lapses.”

    To read the article titled, “DRC family’s grant card rejected,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • Millions of Refugees Displaced Globally

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the Syrian civil war contributed to push the numbers of refugees and those displaced by conflict within their own nation to an 18-year high of 45.2 million worldwide by the end of 2012.

    The UN refugee agency says those are the highest numbers since 1994, when people fled genocide in Rwanda and bloodshed in former Yugoslavia.

    It says by the end of last year, the world had 15.4 million refugees, 937 000 asylum seekers and 28.8 million people who had been forced to flee within the borders of their own countries.

    To read the article titled, “45 million refugees displaced globally: UN,” click here.

  • Protect and Celebrate Contributions Made by Refugees

    The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) observes World Refugee Day 2013 by calling for more recognition of the positive contributions refugees make in their host countries. The world observes World Refugee Day on 20 June every year. 2013 is no different. Hundreds of events have been organised to commemorate this day. The sad reality is that people continue to be displaced on a daily basis as we continue to witness human suffering because of conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and various parts of the world.
    In South Africa, we have recently seen the displacement of refugees and other non-nationals due to violence and looting of their shops over the past few weeks including on the eve of this World Refugee Day.
    On this World Refugee Day, CoRMSA calls for increased recognition of the positive contributions that refugees make in South Africa. In recognising and visibly promoting these contributions beyond this day, we will be able to enlighten the general public on benefits that refugees offer the country while dispelling the many negative myths and stereotypes attributed to this group.
    This day is recognised in the same month as we remember the sacrifices made by South African youth in 1976 in struggling against oppression. It is thus befitting that we also celebrate the achievements made by refugee youth who despite being uprooted and sometimes going through traumatic experiences, are able to rise beyond these circumstances and make positive contributions towards their country of refuge.
    Recent events that resulted in the looting and displacement of foreign-owned shops poses a critical question for South Africa as a country in relation not only to the respect for the rule of law but also related to lawlessness on the part of those holding demonstrations and the country’s ability to manage this. In this regard, we therefore call for increased protection for all in South African communities and in particular vulnerable groups including those refugees engaged in small business trading in various parts of the country. By promoting safety and security for all, we are ensuring proper integration of all groups within our society.
    - Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane is executive director at the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa. Alfani Yoyo is advocacy officer in the same organisation. 
  • Farmworkers’ Access to Healthcare Improves

    The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says although migrant farmworkers do not have much of a chance at accessing social security their access to healthcare in South Africa has improved.

    According to an officer in charge of the IOM’s office in Musina, Mpilo Nkomo, in 2006, the South African and Zimbabwean governments began a joint border project to ensure improved access for migrants to healthcare, adding that: “That and other efforts to shift attitudes have paid off.”

    Nkomo, who says that they had a lot of issues on attitude, notes that for one to access health services within the institutions here, service providers would demand foreigners to be in possession of a [South African] green bar-coded identity document.

    To read the article titled, “Migrant workers: The human right to access health care,” click here.

    Mail & Guardian
  • Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa: Administrator

    Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA)
    Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
    Opportunity closing date: 
    Monday, May 6, 2013
    Opportunity type: 
    The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) formerly known as the National Consortium for Refugee Affairs, is a nonprofit organisation that promotes refugees, asylum seekers and migrants rights.

    CoRMSA seeks to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced Administrator, based in Johannesburg.

    The person will perform administrative and basic bookkeeping duties for the organisation.

    • Perform administrative duties (including but not limited to filing, making travel arrangements for project work);
    • Organisation, coordination and provision of logistical support for events;
    • Bookkeeping and basic financial management duties;
    • Manage petty cash;
    • Liaise with auditors;
    • Reception duties, including answering telephone, receiving visitors;
    • Attend to and directing correspondence to relevant staff;
    • Liaise with CoRMSA members as necessitated by CoRMSA work;
    • Any other work as may be required.
    • Immediate availability;
    • Bachelor degree and/or proven work experience in administratiion and basic financial management in an NGO;
    • Working knowledge and experience of Quickbooks and bookkeeping;
    • Knowledge and experience in handling complex donor requirements;
    • Basic understanding of immigration and asylum policies in South Africa;
    • Understanding, knowledge and/or experience in working with networks;
    • Well-spoken and driven individual who is able to work under pressure; 
    • Experience in working in multicultural environment.
    To apply, submit a short CV to with ‘Administrator Position’ in the Subject line of your e-mail.

    Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

    Enquiries: Tel: 011 403 7560.

    CoRMSA reserves the right to withdraw or not to fill this position.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    For more about the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, refer to

    For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to


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  • NGO Founder Appointed to ANCYL Team

    Former African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leaders accused ANC national disciplinary committee chairperson, Derek Hanekom, of having influenced or imposed his nephew Braam on the interim youth wing leadership.
    Suspended former ANCYL spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, points out that the youth does not know Braam Hanekom, who is also founder of People Against Suffering Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP), a human rights organisation working with refugees.
    To read the article titled, “Knives out for new ANCYL task team,” click here.

    Sunday World
  • SAHRC Welcomes Refugee Ruling

    The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has welcomed the Western Cape High Court's ruling that a refugee reception office (RRO) be re-opened by the Department of Home Affairs.

    The SAHRC says it has been receiving complaints from asylum seekers on this issue and in September 2012 was approached by 80 asylum seekers, including children, seeking relief from actions of department of home affairs.

    In the same vein, the People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) says hundreds of asylum seekers had been unable to get documentation since June 2012 and lived in fear of being detained and deported to countries where their lives and freedom were at risk.

    To read the article titled, “SAHRC welcomes refugee ruling,” click here.

  • Creativity of Thought and Ideas: How we can change the State of the Nation

    With the State of the Nation Address and the 2013/14 Budget speech behind us, we now more than before have a gripping awareness that the South African reality is one that will need a lot more input before it is what we as South Africans need it to be.
    We have made great strides towards equity and the sharing of wealth and knowledge but it has been staggered. This means that there are some areas that need more attention than others. One of these areas is youth development. I have always been passionate about the value of education and the attaining of skills because I understand that it empowers the individual as well as society, to improve. If we have knowledge and skills, our dependency on others will be less and we will be more equipped to be also self-sufficient, this is enriching in terms of dignity.

    As a political science graduate, I know from experience how difficult it is to break into the job market, especially into one's own field. We can see that the youth is battling to come to grips with the reality that there are simply not enough jobs for everyone. We cannot continue to look at the state to resolve the issue, although we know that we can depend on it for assistance. It is the accumulation of these ideas that have led me to get off my behind and give my input. However, it goes without saying that actions speak louder than words, so this is what I am working on. I was given an opportunity to write articles on politics, to be edited published on a website by Shari Cupido, a Brussels-based diplomatic, to keep the poolsci juices flowing while doing my daily job. Upon completing the two-month online internship, I asked Cupido whether we could partner with the Claremont Volunteer Centre so that future interns who do not have a day job can gain working experience and build contacts through volunteering, to which she agreed. I then approached the Volunteer Centre, since I cannot volunteer due to my working - I collect goods and donate to when I can; I spoke with Shahida who also was in agreement. Shahida arranges for local and international volunteers to come and assist those who are in need of working experience. She hopes to grow her base of international volunteers to a group of more than one hundred. Shahida has put forth the invaluable opportunity for young political science and international relations graduates to motivate the volunteers by means of talks, and to workshops or lectures, to discuss issues such as diversity and HIV/AIDS.
    The status of refugees in South Africa, as well as the more other issues such as how did the youth come to have a sense of entitlement and how young people can more broadly impact the community.

    We had had our first successful talk, focusing on the issue of diversity, delivered by Fazlin Fransman, a member of the South African Political Science group.

    It is our mission to give graduates a platform to gain the experience that they will need to put to use the knowledge that they have attained through their studies and allow them to polish real time ideas into articles on politics. The articles should speak to the contemporary issues as well as ultimately engaging in a broad-spectrum enrichment in terms of the actual volunteering and assisting of the administration of volunteering.

    This blog serves to show that creative though in the face of difficult circumstances can lead to the development of ideas that are able to address issue and empower us as the people of South Africa to make a difference in our own communities. It has also been to thank those who are involved in SA Pol-Sci and the Claremont Volunteer Centre for the amazing work.

    Please feel free to contact me on Facebook or Twitter @AnnekeScheepers

    Please follow @SA_PolSci on twitter or visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter

  • Zim Girl Raped While Crossing Border

    A 13-year-old Zimbabwean girl has been raped while trying to cross the Beit Bridge border in Limpopo.

    Police say the victim, who was walking with her mother who has a passport, was walking under the bridge where she was going to jump the fence with other illegal foreign nationals as she did not have proper documentation.

    While walking under the bridge, they were allegedly confronted by members of a crime syndicate known as Maguma-guma and one of the men allegedly raped her before he disappeared into the bush.

    To read the article titled, “Zimbabwean girl raped while crossing Beit Bridge border,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Israel Criticised Over African Migrants

    Israel has turned back dozens of African asylum-seekers, mostly Eritreans, trying to enter the country from Egypt, according to rights group, Human Rights Watch and two other NGOs.

    In a joint press statement, the organisations point out that, "In forcing asylum seekers and refugees to remain in Egypt and in deporting others, Israel is putting them at risk of prolonged detention in Egyptian prisons and police stations where they cannot claim asylum.

    The NGOs implored the country to abandon its policy, reminding it that it signed the 1951 Refugee Convention in Geneva, which requires ‘all countries to respect the principle of nonrefoulement’ - a principle of international law which prohibits turning over a victim of persecution to his persecutor.

    To read the article titled, “Israel turns back African migrants: HRW,” click here.

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