SA Still Top Host Of Asylum Seekers Despite Rising Unemployment


Despite battling with an overly increased unemployment rate, South Africa has been named among top countries hosting more asylum seekers than other countries in the world.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) revealed this following its 2015 report on countries with the highest number of asylum seekers.

Few months back, Statistic SA released a report showing an alarming 26.7% unemployment rate, an up-shoot from the 24.5% rate in the fourth quarter of last year.

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This translates to more than 5 million people in South Africa who are actively seeking employment. The figure excludes millions of job seekers who have given up looking for work. If this group is added to the figures the rate would be close to 37%.

However, UNHCR report revealed that South Africa took in about 1 057 600 asylum seekers by the end of 2014.

The report further stated that though there hasn’t been a comparable increase in 2015, the number of new applications in 2015 was relatively low at 62 200 – there was a statistical adjustment in reporting asylum-seeking figures that means that South Africa hosted more asylum-seekers than any other country at the end of 2015.

The report says more than half (54%) of all refugees across the world came from just three countries – the Syrian Arab Republic (4.9m), Afghanistan (2.7m) and Somalia (1.1m). South Africa currently hosts 41 500 Somali refugees.

interestingly, Asylum claims in South Africa are reportedly dominated by people from sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 84% of the total. After Zimbabwe, the biggest number of asylum applications are from Ethiopia (9 300), Nigeria (6 600), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (6 400).

Few weeks back, the US government warned South Africa of a possible terrorist attack and has also warned its citizens to steer clear of some strategic areas where the attackers might be visiting.

Though the SA government has encouraged people to go on their normal activities promising to take care of everyone, experts have warned that the US warnings must be taken seriously.

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Experts also suggested that government should carefully cross-check the number and personality of people trooping into the country. As it were, South Africa has by a large margin the highest reported number of applications pending at any stage of the asylum procedure.

Government has however assured us all of our safety saying conclusions have been made that there is no immediate threat that can actually befall anyone who is within the Republic of South Africa. Therefore there’s no need for panic.