Refugees refuse to leave camp

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Scores of displaced people are refusing to leave Cape Town's Youngsfield camp, even though it was shut down last Friday and all food supplies cut off.

Disaster head Hildegarde Fast says electricity to Youngsfield will be cut off today. The displaced had hoped to be moved to Cape Town's last remaining camp, Blue Waters, but authorities refused to move them. They will close Blue Waters on Friday.

Richard Nifasha, originally from Burundi, says his family used to survive with money from his wife's clothes business. Her business collapsed after the xenophobic attacks in May.

Nifasha said his wife and children wanted to be repatriated to Burundi. He would stay behind in South Africa and look for work.

Volunteers from the Youngsfield Organisation, which was formed by activists from the Treatment Action Campaign, Ubuntu and People Against Suppression, Oppression and Poverty soon after the camp was opened in the wake of xenophobic attacks five months ago, say that camp residents spent a bleak weekend without food. They allege that charities and religious organisations were prevented from donating food to the camp for about 48 hours.