The Human Rights Commission attended the stakeholders’ meeting held at Ga-Segonyana municipality on January 20, 2017 in an effort to find a common solution to shelter the Bankara-Bodulong displaced foreign nationals.
Different government departments that include SAPS, COGHSTA, Health, Education, Home Affairs, Social Development and the local municipality attended the emergent meeting, aimed at normalising the dire situation confronted by the hapless foreign nationals.
While the gist of the matter was to find better accommodation in the interim, the long lasting solution was considered a necessity and topical in the meeting. For the past two weeks the foreigners were packed at the police canteen where hunger and bedding shortage took effect. It was agreed that the police structure was not conducive enough as a camp, where Moffat Mission was opted as another temporary alternative for just one week while the caravan park is to be equipped with the requisite resources to be habitable for a sustainable period.
Request for the provision of tents from the South African National Defence Force has been submitted to the authorities.
During all these arrangements, a committee involving the same representatives, including social workers, will consult the community of Bankara Bodulong in an endeavour to reach a common consensus towards reintegration of the two camps - an idea that was also consolidated by the premier. This comes after the tragic death of a local teenager who was stabbed on the eve of New Year by the foreign national following a scuffle. Consequent to his funeral, the local community went amok and looted twenty six shops owned by these foreign nationals as a vindictive act after ordering owners to close down the shops.
With the looming danger in sight, the foreigners left their businesses in a wink of an eye. Most of these foreigners had built structures as accommodation or used part of their shops as shelter.
The Human Rights Commission officials said that they will be involved in the rehabilitation process to ensure that sanity prevails in the restoration of human dignity.
Around thirty foreign nationals are trapped in this dilemma.