Refugees Amendment Act Signed

Department of Home Affairs

President Zuma assented to the Refugees Amendment Act in December 2017.

Parliament passed the bill and sent it for assent in November 2017.

The act is designed to add further provisions to current legislation relating to disqualification from refugee status for asylum seekers.

Drawn up by the home affairs department, the act seeks to introduce amendments to the Refugees Act of 1998.
The act aims to:

•    amend the Refugees Act, 1998, so as to amend and insert certain definitions;
•    include further provisions relating to disqualification from refugee status;
•    provide for integrity measures to combat fraud and corruption among staff members at Refugee Reception Offices, the Standing Committee and the Refugee Appeals Authority;
•    omit provisions referring to the Status Determination Committee;
•    substitute certain provisions relating to the Refugee Appeals Authority;
•    provide for the re-establishment of the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs and to confer additional powers on the Standing Committee;
•    confer additional powers on the Director-General;
•    clarify the procedure relating to conditions attached to asylum seeker visas and abandonment of applications;
•    revise provisions relating to the review of asylum applications;
•    provide for the withdrawal of refugee status in respect of categories of refugees;
•    provide for additional offences and penalties;
•    provide for transitional provisions; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

The act will come into force when the Refugees Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 33 of 2008) and the Refugees Amendment Act, 2011 (Act No. 12 of 2011) come into effect.

It was published in Government Gazette 41343.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

Related legislation: