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Parliament welcomes the progress made in eliminating the backlog of appeals for asylum seekers

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  The Portfolio Committee on Internal Affairs has welcomed the progress in clearing the backlog of asylum seeker appeals which currently stands at 133 582 The committee is hopeful that the project partnership agreement between the Department of Internal Affairs through the Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa RAASA and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will meet their intended goals and that the RAASA will experience no further delays Removing the backlog of asylum seekers will go a long way towards ensuring the rights of those who are truly in need of protection in South Africa Furthermore it will strengthen South Africa s position in promoting and supporting human rights as advocated by the United Nations said Mr Mosa Chabane Chairman of the committee The committee appreciates the assurance that the four year project partnership agreement at an estimated cost of R146 784 million will provide the necessary capacity support that RAASA needs to clear the backlog While the committee acknowledges that the number of appeals decided since the project was launched remains low with 450 decisions made and 284 incomplete files returned to DHA it is hopeful that the appointment of the new RAASA chair will help greatly to promote the project The committee welcomed the digitization of all records to improve the adjudication process and reduce the possibility of loss of records The committee has urged full digitization to ensure speedy processing and streamlined processes In the meantime the committee welcomes the full reopening of refugee reception offices across the country with the exception of the Cape Town office which is only awaiting the completion of the new office The committee also called for the continuation of online extensions to reduce the volume of clients visiting offices in person Meanwhile the committee received a presentation from the Congolese Civil Society of South Africa on various issues affecting refugees and those seeking refuge in South Africa The committee has resolved to raise some of those concerns with the Department of the Interior and after receiving concrete responses from DHA will engage with the civil society group
Parliament welcomes the progress made in eliminating the backlog of appeals for asylum seekers

1 The Portfolio Committee on Internal Affairs has welcomed the progress in clearing the backlog of asylum seeker appeals, which currently stands at 133,582.

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2 The committee is hopeful that the project partnership agreement between the Department of Internal Affairs, through the Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa (RAASA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will meet their intended goals and that the RAASA will experience no further delays.

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3 “Removing the backlog of asylum seekers will go a long way towards ensuring the rights of those who are truly in need of protection in South Africa.

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4 Furthermore, it will strengthen South Africa’s position in promoting and supporting human rights as advocated by the United Nations,” said Mr. Mosa Chabane, Chairman of the committee.

5 The committee appreciates the assurance that the four-year project partnership agreement at an estimated cost of R146 784 million will provide the necessary capacity support that RAASA needs to clear the backlog.

6 While the committee acknowledges that the number of appeals decided since the project was launched remains low, with 450 decisions made and 284 incomplete files returned to DHA, it is hopeful that the appointment of the new RAASA chair will help greatly to promote the project.

7 The committee welcomed the digitization of all records to improve the adjudication process and reduce the possibility of loss of records.

8 The committee has urged full digitization to ensure speedy processing and streamlined processes.

9 In the meantime, the committee welcomes the full reopening of refugee reception offices across the country, with the exception of the Cape Town office which is only awaiting the completion of the new office.

10 The committee also called for the continuation of online extensions to reduce the volume of clients visiting offices in person.

11 Meanwhile, the committee received a presentation from the Congolese Civil Society of South Africa on various issues affecting refugees and those seeking refuge in South Africa.

12 The committee has resolved to raise some of those concerns with the Department of the Interior and, after receiving concrete responses from DHA, will engage with the civil society group.

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