On 25th March 2020, the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town wrote a letter to the South African presidency and several ministers. The letter urges them that migrants, asylum seekers and refugees must be included in the response to the covid-19 pandemic.
The letter sets out concerns around the the differentiation in approaches pertaining to non-citizens depending on whether their documentation is issued in terms of the Immigration Act or the Refugees Act.
This lack of formal response to South Africa’s refugee and migrant community exists despite Ramaphosa’s speeches on the importance of an inclusive, pan-African approach to combating covid-19. In the spirit of these words and the sentiment of inclusion, we urge the National Command Centre and all relevant Ministers to ensure a whole-of-society approach in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and impacts of the Lockdown.
Our letter therefore makes five main demands: