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Home Affairs plans to address asylum application backlogs

The Department of Home Affairs has published a statement recognising its international and moral obligations to asylum seekers. It has recognised that there are currently 87,602 backlogged “unfounded” and 68,740 “manifestly unfounded” asylum review applications in various centres including Durban, Cape Town, Marabastad, Pretoria, Showgrounds and Musina.

These are asylum applicants that did not succeed, on the basis of the facts presented, in convincing Home Affairs of the legitimacy of their asylum status and who have, as per their rights, applied for a review of the decision.

The Department has taken a number of measures to address the backlogs and has requested that this information be circulated as widely as possible.


Extended office hours from Monday to Friday from 7h30 to 17h00.

Refugee reception centres will be open on Saturdays from 08h00 to 13h00 until the backlog is resolved.

The Department will provide services to asylum seekers from different areas on scheduled days: SADC Nationals – Monday and Tuesdays; East Africa – Wednesday and Saturday; West Africa – Thursday; Asia and other countries – Friday.

SAPS will be assisting with queue management;

A document management company has been hired to help Refugee Reception Offices manage their filing systems.


Click here to view the Department’s speaking notes for its media briefing.