Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zim refugees turn down move to Soweto

Itumeleng Mafisa

The Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg says some Zimbabwean immigrants have opted to go back home rather than move to Soweto after the church took a decision to close down its central Johannesburg ministry to refugees.

The church is still housing more than 200 refugees, the majority of them from Zimbabwe
The church is still housing more than 200 refugees, the majority of them from Zimbabwe

The new superintendent of the church, reverend Ndumiso Ncombo, told The New Age that the church was still housing more than 200 refugees, the majority of them from Zimbabwe.

He said those who were willing to remain in South Africa would be assisted by the church and the department of social development and home affairs to settle.

“We will also, as a church, pay for those who want to go back home,” Ncombo said.

The church has increased its security to ensure that the number of refugees does not grow.

“We have put burglar gates on two of the doors and we have security to control access in and out of the building. We are also monitoring the situation with the community through a database.”

Ncombo rubbished claims that the refugees would be attacked at a Soweto community centre that the church had planned to move them to.

“Zimbabweans have been living in Soweto for a while, that place is safe. Those who are saying that must stop fabricating things.” The church said it would give the remaining refugees in the church until the end of February to find alternative accommodation.

In 2000, the church began to take in a few dozen vulnerable people who lived on the streets and soon attracted undocumented migrants from countries including Burundi, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

In 2008 xenophobic attacks against African immigrants and political turmoil in Zimbabwe saw the numbers of refugees in the church swell to more than 3000 including more than 100 unaccompanied children.

The church says it will continue to help refugees. According to Ncombo the church will spend more than R20m to renovate the Johannesburg building after years of housing homeless immigrants there. The New Age

  • Pink Friday

    Rugare runenge rwenda !!!


    I understand why this joburg church doesn’t want to house illegal immigrants anymore. First and foremost, this is the job of the South Africa home affairs, they should be paying for 100% of the cost of housing and feeding these people who are in need of gvt care whilst their cases are being decided. A church solely relies on its charitable budget to pay for electricity, water and building maintenance, and these Zimbo migrants along with other African migrants will tend to take advantage of such care and not make efforts to stand up on their own two feat…I mean why look for a job and pay your own way when you can get food, housing , water , clothing, electricity for free?? The place is not a refugee centre, its a church and should be used for worshipping purposes . Refugee care centres , IOM should be the ones taking sole care of these refugees. Look at these men, all able bodied , able to work and hence look after themselves.Not one was able to get a job even as a labourer at a farm somewhere in SA?? some FORM of work at least? They look so comfortable, they have been given an inch and they have taken a mile already.

    • cc

      Unorwara ……….you missing out a lot of facts …..tanga waita research first and am sure your comment will be very different!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • GidzaWacho

        Care to furnish us with those facts?

      • LADY GAGA

        You either possess no traces of common sense at all in that grey matter upstairs or you live in some mickey mouse wonderland in another planet. Have you looked at the state of South Africa in 2015?? Do you understand how charities function? Do you understand the reasons why South Africans have such a hatred towards these refugees? Do you understand why charity groups are under pressure financially to cater for thousands and thousands of African refugees in a country that has its own poverty levels to deal with? Do you understand why this church cannot continue to cater to the ever rising needs of these refugees indefinitely? Do you understand the costs associated with charity work? Do you understand anything at all or did you just feel like jumping onto that keyboard for the fun of it? THINK THINK THINK!

  • Cills

    Vana veZimbabwe vatambura akomana….thanks for nothing Bob