The Combating Xenophobia project activities have seeing are interventions in the Makause community. During the conflict mapping exercise in the community, the findings were that both the local and migrants in Makause were facing challenges of lack of proper documentation and as such the ASC managed to engage with the Department of Home Affairs to visit the area to share information on how to get proper documents. This provided an opportunity to those applying for the Lesotho Special permits to have their issues solved as we approach the deadline for the issuance of the permits.
In its quest to bridge the gap between the ordinary people and migrants in South Africa and state institutions, the ASC presented the delegated officials from the Department of Home Affairs who led discussions with the community members. Information provided was in regard to birth certificates for children born in and outside of South Africa and the requirements for the application process, information pertaining to passports, permits and the dispensation period given to all the Lesotho people who might have entered the country undocumented.
The Department of Home Affairs representative highlighted that the Lesotho Special Permits were meant to correct the unequal access to opportunities and other state provisions between the Basotho people and South Africans. This came after the community had made complaints that their children could not access school due to lack of documentation, exposure to cheap labour and abuse which they are not in a position to report due to discriminatory state institutions as well as finding it hard to open bank accounts.
The public meeting came as a relief to people from Lesotho who reside in Makause who were struggling to register for the special permit. ASC expresses its gratitude to the Department of Home Affairs, for extending its work and time to work in communities and address the grievances of the diverse people.