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29. Mar. 2020

Home Affairs rejects calls to release immigration detainees fearful of coronavirus

Sydney Herald ` 29 March 2020

The Home Affairs Department has rejected calls to release any asylum seekers or refugees being held in immigration detention in Australia over COVID-19 concerns.

Immigration lawyers, advocates and detainees were hoping Australia would follow the United Kingdom`s decision to release hundreds of detained immigrants last week.

“It is beyond belief that no people from immigration detention have been released due to the virus,” immigration attorney and asylum seeker advocate, Alison Battisson, told SBS News.

“Health controls and physical distancing cannot be maintained. It is just impossible. Further, not only are the people in immigration detention in danger, but so are the people who work there, and their family and friends.”



Detainees say social distancing is not being followed in immigration facilities.

But a spokesperson for the Home Affairs Department said no detainees had tested positive to coronavirus.

“Infection control plans are in place and plans to manage suspected cases of COVID-19 have been developed and tested.

`Detainees displaying any COVID-19 symptoms may be quarantined and tested in line with advice from health officials and in accordance with the broader Commonwealth response.”

Though no cases have been recorded among immigration detainees in Australia so far, a contractor employed by Serco, the company that oversees safety and security in all onshore detention centres and alternate places of detention in Australia, was found to have been infected by the virus earlier this month.

The contractor worked as a guard at the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel and Apartments in Brisbane which is being used as an alternate place of detention (APOD).

Serco said the contractor had not been in contact with any detainees for 11 days prior to his diagnosis.

Moz Azimitabar, a Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker who was brought to Australia from Papua New Guinea for treatment of chronic asthma believes it`s only a matter of time before he and others are infected.

He is currently being held at the Mantra Bell City Preston Hotel with 65 other detainees under guard and he said social distancing measures put in place by the government were not being practiced by government contractors.

“When we go to the lift there are 15, sometimes 20, people in one elevator when we are going down for eating lunch and dinner and most of them are not using gloves and masks and they touch the fruit when they are giving it to us.

`It’s really scary. Some of the guys here, including myself have asthma and breathing difficulties. We don’t want to get this virus.”

In an audio recording provided to SBS News, a female Serco officer at the Mantra Bell City Preston could be heard trying to calm several fearful detainees.

“A number of measures to screen staff are already in place and include any staff or worker attending the facility continues to be asked additional questions related to their health and travel and are denied entry if there is any doubt,” the guard can be heard telling detainees.

“Any staff member from ABF, Serco, or IHMS that is unwell has been told not to attend work. Any staff member that is observed to be unwell will be denied entry.”

All visits to detainees by family members and friends have been stopped, as well as all non-essential and non-critical outpatient appointments at clinics and hospitals.

According to the Department of Health, COVID-19 can spread from person to person through close contact with an infectious person, including in the 24 hours before they started showing symptoms.

Australians must stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Indoors, there must be a density of no more than one person per four square metres of floor space. V.5071

19. May. 2020 News24

Home Affairs considers marriage registrations during Level 3

While it is clearing the backlog in birth registrations created by Level 5, the Department of Home Affairs is considering allowing the registration of marriages when the country moves to Level 3. This after the department addressed a portfolio committee on Tuesday. V.5102

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18. May. 2020 Africacheck

How to talk about migration in South Africa

The words used to describe migration can be confusing, but definitions are important when we discuss the movements of people. We look at the most common terms. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many countries, and the movement of people, to a near standstill. As the world looks to restart, migration will again be at the fore, with South Africa likely to be a key part of this. V.5103

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13. May. 2020 All Africa

South Africa: Migrants Excluded From Government Food Aid

All around South Africa, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have mostly been left out of the government`s official response to the food crisis are going hungry. For Alice Munyanyiwa, a cup of tea has become a luxury she can barely afford. V.5098

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12. May. 2020 KCTV5

Australia faces `sobering` future economy due to coronavirus

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) ` Australia`s treasurer said Tuesday the country faces a “sobering” economic outlook due to the effects of the coronavirus and will have its largest-ever deficit when a revised budget is released in October. The 2020-21 federal budget was due to be released Tuesday. But the government was forced to delay it until it assesses the full economic cost of the coronavirus. V.5100

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11. May. 2020 Business Day

Government planning six, one-stop border posts The aim is to enhance efficiency, especially at the heavily congested Beitbridge border post

The government is working on a scheme to develop six, one-stop border posts with its neighbours to ensure greater efficiency in the movement of goods and people. Priority will be given to the Beitbridge border post connecting SA and Zimbabwe, which is the gateway for most of the land-based trade with the rest of Africa. This border post, the biggest, has long been plagued by lengthy delays, some lasting up to two weeks, which are extremely costly for business. V.5099

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10. May. 2020 The South African

Desperate Lesotho citizens jump borders to get home

Desperate citizens stranded in South Africa have taken to jumping the Lesotho border risking their lives to get home. Reports from Lesotho claim that hundreds of Basotho are resorting to perilous and illegal border crossings having been stranded in locked down South Africa. V.5096

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10. May. 2020 Bulawayo News

Zimbabwe returnees top 3 000

THE country received 527 citizens returning from South Africa yesterday through the Beitbridge Border Post bringing the number of returnees from various countries to 3 134 since the country and other regional countries initiated national lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19. V.5097

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30. Apr. 2020 Business Day

Border control: SA’s biggest foreign-policy failure since democracy

The latest experiment in border management should hardly surprise us. But it’s another depressing sign that SA is nowhere close to really dealing with how to properly manage the movement of people between SA and Zimbabwe Blowing R37m on rolls of razor wire for a new border fence between SA and Zimbabwe is in many ways a metaphor for how SA has dealt with the implosion of its northern neighbour over the years: a knee-jerk, haphazard job that has cost us dearly. V.5101

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16. Apr. 2020 Biz Community

Rebuilding the post-pandemic economy

The Covid-19 pandemic is set to realign the world`s social and economic structure, and fundamentally change the way people work and interact, personally and professionally. While the current social measures in place around the world are aimed at stemming the spread of the virus, there’s a good chance that there’ll be a residual adoption of elements of them as humanity adapts to ‘the new normal’ ` because the world will fundamentally never be the same again. V.5090

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15. Apr. 2020 Business Insider SA

The cost of home fibre in SA may drop up to R200 per month thanks to a Telkom settlement

Telkom reached an agreement with the Competition Commission to cut the prices it charges internet service providers (ISPs) to use its network. One technology analyst believes SA consumers can expect price cuts of between R100 to R200 on their monthly home-fibre bills as a result. V.5089

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15. Apr. 2020 News 24

Coronavirus uncertainty affects asylum seekers

The Department of Home Affairs has not confirmed the measures that have been put in place to deal with the arrival of asylum seekers,) Fears around the spread of the coronavirus have led to the South African government taking the extraordinary step of closing 35 of the country’s 72 ports of entry. After President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster on March 15, some refugee reception offices have apparently also suspended issuing and renewing asylum permits while their staff wait to receive protective gear. V.5091

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15. Apr. 2020 news 24

Two British citizens who allegedly sped over SA border now in quarantine, case postponed

The case against two British citizens who allegedly deliberately ignored border officials and sped off into South Africa from Eswatini on Saturday was postponed to 30 April in the Durban Magistrate`s Court on Tuesday. V.5094

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15. Apr. 2020 news 24

`Unprecedented` national effort underway to combat Covid-19 as infections rise and economy dies

A national rescue effort to save thousands of lives threatened by the spread of Covid-19, while attempting to preserve and reconfigure the economy is unfolding on a scale unprecedented in democratic South Africa. The depth of the crisis the country finds itself in was underscored by a series of dire developments on Tuesday, with the coronavirus infection rate seeing its largest single increase in recent weeks, with 143 more South Africans testing positive, taking the total to 2 415. V.5095

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14. Apr. 2020 News 24

Covid-19: home affairs outlines measures to deal with immigration, work visas

The department of home affairs has outlined temporary measures regarding visas and permanent residence permits during the lockdown. Image: Alaister Russell People whose visas to work, study or conduct business in SA expired during the Covid-19 lockdown will not be penalised, home affairs said on Tuesday. V.5093

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08. Apr. 2020 SAMI

Rich, older South African men are buying Plan B passports in Europe in record numbers

Business Insider SA - 05 April 2020 The first half of 2018 saw a huge surge in applications from South Africans looking to buy their way into second passports, mostly in Europe, numbers from an advisory company show. V.5085

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08. Apr. 2020 SAMI

How to get British citizenship via double descent

British citizenship via the double descent route was a much talked about topic the past few months. However, there is still a lot of confusion about who can qualify. V.5086

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08. Apr. 2020 By Alan Knott-Craig (SA Author)

South Africa might just get lucky - this might not all come to pass but at least there’s hope.

In February, our country was in bad shape. Our stock market was over-heated. We were heading for a recession. We were heading for a downgrade. And then Covid19 happened. V.5088

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06. Apr. 2020 Groundup

Victory for asylum seekers in Constitutional Court

Court rules on extension of temporary permits The Constitutional Court has ruled that asylum seekers’ temporary permits must automatically be extended while their case is being reviewed. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks V.5083

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04. Apr. 2020 News24

German government begins repatriation of citizens from SA

The German government on Friday started the repatriation of its citizens from South Africa. Strict travel regulations had been in place since a 21-day nationwide Covid-19 lockdown was announced. Previously, all flights were grounded, but the repatriation was permitted due to the revised regulations announced this week by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula. V.5087

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02. Apr. 2020 SAMI

This caters for applicants (in South Africa) that were born in the United Kingdom. This page also serves to clarify the benefits of being born in the UK versus having a parent (or grandparent) that was born in the UK.

The are quite a few complications in these cases that we are looking to clarify. The first relates to eligibility of British nationality. The second relates to the type of British nationality. Finally, we close off by revealing some solutions we have up our sleeves. V.5082

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Articles

19. May. 2020 News24

Home Affairs considers marriage registrations during Level 3

While it is clearing the backlog in birth registrations created by Level 5, the Department of Home Affairs is considering allowing the registration of marriages when the country moves to Level 3. This after the department addressed a portfolio committee on Tuesday. V.5102

Click here for full article

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