SOUTH AFRICA / GRANDI VISIT

16-Oct-2019 00:03:29
Wrapping up a two-day visit to South Africa, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, expressed his continued support to its government, as it continues to ensure the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in the country. UNHCR
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STORY: SOUTH AFRICA / GRANDI VISIT
TRT: 3:29
SOURCE: UNHCR / GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION AND OF INFORMATION SYSTEM – REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA HANDOUT
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR FOOTAGE ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 OCTOBER 2019, JOHANNESBURG / PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
SHOTLIST
UNHCR - 15 OCTOBER 2019, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

1. Tilt down, Hillbrow Outreach Center
2. Wide shot, Grandi in a meeting with refugees and asylum seekers
3. Med shot, refugees and asylum seekers at meeting
4. Various shots, man speaking at meeting
5. Close up, Grandi at meeting
6. Close up, woman speaking at meeting
7. Wide shot, woman speaking at meeting
8. Med shot, Grandi speaking at meeting
9. Various shots, refugees listening at meeting
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
“I came here to look at the situation of refugees and asylum seekers and to discuss with the government how best to improve the way in which this country is receiving asylum seekers, is dealing with their case, and is ensuring that in this country they are safe; they have access to services.”

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION AND OF INFORMATION SYSTEM – REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA HANDOUT - 15 OCTOBER 2019, PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

11. Various shots, Grandi meeting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

UNHCR - 15 OCTOBER 2019, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

12. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
“South Africa has a very exemplary policy of receiving people in distress from many parts of Africa and even beyond. Now, of course I understand the difficulties. We are working on them. You need to be patient, and I think that under the leadership of the government we will manage to address some of the issues, some of the grievances that refugees and asylum seekers have raised.”
13. Wide shot, Grandi speaking to students at high school where refugees, asylum seekers and South Africans study together
14. Various shots, students in class
15. Various shots, refugees and asylum seekers at Hillbrow Outreach Center
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
“There is also anxiety about pressure on foreigners, migrants that includes refugees as well. The President has been very clear that this country does not tolerate violence. This is a country born out of a fight for freedom against injustice, so it has to uphold these values very high and it does. But of course, when the situation becomes difficult for many poor people in the country, it is more difficult to have refugees and migrants accepted in the community and that is what we need to work on.”
17. Various shots, refugees and asylum seekers at Hillbrow Outreach Center
STORYLINE
Wrapping up a two-day visit to South Africa, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, expressed his continued support to its government, as it continues to ensure the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in the country.

Referencing South Africa’s decades of hospitality and open-door policy towards refugees and asylum seekers, Grandi commended the country for its efforts to encourage their socioeconomic inclusion.

SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
“South Africa has a very exemplary policy of receiving people in distress from many parts of Africa and even beyond. Now, of course I understand the difficulties. We are working on them. You need to be patient, and I think that under the leadership of the government we will manage to address some of the issues, some of the grievances that refugees and asylum seekers have raised.”

During his visit which started on 14 October, Grandi met with NGO partner agencies, business leaders, key government officials, refugees and asylum seekers. He said, “I came here to look at the situation of refugees and asylum seekers and to discuss with the government how best to improve the way in which this country is receiving asylum seekers, is dealing with their case, and is ensuring that in this country they are safe; they have access to services.”

Grandi met with a group of refugees and asylum seekers at a community centre in Johannesburg’s Hillbrow suburb, who raised various concerns, following a recent spate of violence against foreigners in various parts of the country.

The group highlighted personal security fears, as well as problems in accessing and renewing documentation. They noted that this impacts their ability to work, and to access basic services like education and health, with particularly grave consequences for disabled, sick, and elderly people, and others with vulnerabilities.

They requested the High Commissioner to raise their concerns with the government. Grandi received the same request from a group of business leaders who told him that refugee employment is hampered by lack of documentation.

The High Commissioner met President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. With both, he had frank and constructive discussions about the situation of refugees and asylum-seekers in the country in the broader context of its migration challenges.

He commended the President’s commitment to protecting people fleeing countries affected by conflict and persecution and noted that many South Africans had themselves experienced exile, and the return of refugees from abroad was part of the country’s own journey from apartheid to democracy.

SOUNDBITE (English) Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:
“There is also anxiety about pressure on foreigners, migrants that includes refugees as well. The President has been very clear that this country does not tolerate violence. This is a country born out of a fight for freedom against injustice, so it has to uphold these values very high and it does. But of course, when the situation becomes difficult for many poor people in the country, it is more difficult to have refugees and migrants accepted in the community and that is what we need to work on.”

He added that despite the challenges of increased displacement in the region, South Africa has continued to be at the forefront in advancing progressive policies towards migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

The refugee chief also visited Jules High School, an inclusive secondary school that enrols over 900 students, including refugees, asylum seekers and South African nationals. Encouraged by the diversity at the school, Grandi spent time interacting with the students who shared their experiences of learning side by side.

South Africa hosts over 260,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from Somalia, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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