Zims suffer in safety site

immigrants_crossing_limpopoJOHANNESBURG - A group of organisations promoting migrants have put together a team of independent monitors to assess conditions in the temporary safety site housing mostly Zimbabweans that were victims of xenophobic attacks last month.

This monitoring team will collect information on conditions and processes at the safety site as well as on information from areas beyond the site so as to provide nformation that will be useful in developing ways to resolve the current displacement crisis, the organisations said in a statement this week. They include the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), the Black Sash and Oxfam.

In scenes reminiscent of the widely-condemned attacks last year, which saw about 100 people lose their lives during a wave of xenophobic attacks, foreign nationals at De Doorns were recently left homeless after being chased away from their homes.

The majority people at the site are Zimbabweans. Monitors reported this week that the site is overcrowded and lacks proper ventilation. Women are sleeping on the ground, without mattresses, and their blankets are wet, raising concerns about childrens health.

Residents are given two meals a day. However, there are complaints that the portions are insufficient, the quality poor and that the diet monotonous and unbalanced.

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