South Africa Regional Office


Operation: Opération: South Africa Regional Office



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Key Figures

2016 end-year results
18,030 people of concern received legal assistance
15,000 people of concern were assisted through community outreach activities
1,330 children were assisted to access primary education and 250 to access secondary education
290 SGBV survivors were provided with material assistance
95 refugee students were assisted to undertake tertiary studies through DAFI scholarships
2017 planning figures
28,000 people of concern will receive legal support
5,800 people of concern will be assessed for vulnerabilities
3,500 people of concern will be referred for resettlement 
3,200 households will receive targeted assistance in the form of vouchers or subsidy for food and accommodation
2,000 refugees will receive psychosocial support

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2016 310,575
2015 1,218,739
2014 576,990


[["Refugees",91846],["Asylum-seekers",218719],["Returned refugees",7],["Others of concern",3]]
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South Africa Regional Office

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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[37.64164238,26.67804133,27.270748078,25.81544632,25.44088601,30.44729148],"expenditure":[11.10379176,11.44614089,13.41933223,12.97207621,15.9773659,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[35.57243451,25.90165613,26.298812049,24.75091566,24.51877675,29.12380942],"p2":[2.06920787,0.7763852,0.971936029,1.06453066,0.92210926,1.32348206],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[10.74897376,11.09216014,12.91170222,12.27395104,15.28152825,null],"p2":[0.354818,0.35398075,0.50763001,0.69812517,0.69583765,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
The 2017 Year-End Report will be available shortly. 

Working environment

South Africa hosts more than 1.2 million people of concern, allowing freedom of movement and right to work for both refugees and asylum-seekers. However, the high number of asylum-seekers has affected the fairness and effectiveness of the asylum system, particularly at the appeals level. Several proposed amendments to the Refugee Act 1998, if passed, could make the Act inconsistent with international law governing asylum. The growing concern around mixed migratory movements has also triggered a review of the immigration policy, resulting in the Green Paper on International Migration, which raises issues that have direct implications for asylum management. Xenophobic violence and negative attitudes towards foreign nationals continue to affect the integration of refugees and asylum-seekers. The Government’s National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance is pending finalization. 

Key Priorities

In 2017 the UNHCR operation will focus on:

•    providing capacity development and technical support to the Government in refugee status determination and managing refugee-related issues;
•    working closely with the Government and civil society in preventing and combating xenophobia, and promoting social cohesion and integration of refugees in host communities;
•    providing targeted social assistance to support refugees with specific needs;
•    encouraging accession to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions.