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Cape Town Refugee Forum

Contact Person: Christina Henda (Director) / Zoe Nkongolo (ICDP Manager)
Address: 359, Banako Centre, Main Rd, Wynberg,
City: Cape Town
Country: South Africa
Postal Code: 7800
Phone Number: 021 762 9670
Fax Number: 021 761 2294
General Information:

The Cape Town Refugee Centre was established in 1994, with the aim of devising ways to address problems facing the growing number of refugees and asylum seekers in the Western Cape. Organisations such as the Red Cross Society of South Africa, the Trauma Centre, Catholic Welfare and Development, Catholic Justice and Peace, the Salesians and others, as well as representatives of refugees and asylum seekers and a number of concerned local individuals also played an important role in the development of the Centre.

It must be emphasised that refugees/asylum seekers are not illegal immigrants, but are people who have legal rights to international protection in terms of the United Nations Refugee Convention, to which South Africa is a signatory. They are people who have been forced to flee from war or persecution in their own countries. Many arrive in South Africa with nothing, as they have to flee leaving all their possessions behind.

Although there are other organisations in the Western Cape which assist refugees and asylum seekers, the Centre is the only one that has a comprehensive approach to service provision. Currently the average number of clients who report to the Centre for assistance is 450 a month. The organisationís main funder is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Centre is registered as a not-for-profit organisation and an affiliate of the National Consortium on Refugee Affairs.


The Cape Town Refugee Centre strives to improve the quality of life of refugees/asylum seekers by meeting their basic needs on short-term basis and enable them to become self-reliant and self sufficient through capacity building.


We aim to engage refugees/asylum seekers in the improvement of quality of their lives through capacity building, networking, lobbying, advocacy and integration into their host communities.


To render its services the Centre adheres to the following values:

  • All our clients are equal.

  • Our services are rendered in such a manner that the dignity of a client is honoured.

  • Our services are made accessible to all those who qualify for them

  • Our services are people-centred as services are based on their needs.


  • To provide destitute refugees and asylum seekers with basic and fundamental needs.

  • To network with other stakeholders regarding refugee issues.

  • To assist in the development of training and capacity-building

  • programmes for refugees and asylum seekers.

  • To give moral support to refugees and asylum seekers. The appointment of the social worker during this month has indicate

  • that this need has long been overdue, especially when it comes to unaccompanied children.

  • To employ workers to carry out duties of the organisation.

  • To ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are self-supportive by involving them in income-generating programmes.

  • To ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme, the Centre has solicited the expertise of relevant partners in this field.

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