SABC News, 27 May 2008
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Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says it is not her responsibility to provide shelter for foreign nationals displaced by xenophobic attacks. More than 30 000 foreigners have been displaced by the violence. Sisulu says providing relief for refugees is the responsibility of Disaster Management Services. She has also raised concerns about reports that foreign nationals are receiving government housing. Sisulu there arenít enough resources to even offer housing for all South Africans. Meanwhile, police officials in Vredenburg on the Cape west coast say they have negotiated with various stakeholders to allow foreign nationals to return to their communities as soon as possible. Superintendent Jacobus Fortuin says over 600 foreigners were moved to a community hall in Vredenburg over the weekend as a precautionary measure after xenophobic attacks had erupted elsewhere in the province. Fortuin says councillors, community members as well as foreign leaders came to an agreement that foreigners wishing to return their homes will not be attacked. The chairperson of the Western Cape Civil Society Coalition, Zackie Achmat, says safety sites for foreign nationals should be placed inside communities where reintegration can take place as soon as possible. Achmat was speaking at a mass rally against xenophobia in Cape Town. Thousands of displaced foreigners are being accommodated at six sites in the Cape Peninsula. Achmat says the camps are heading for disaster. Chief Justice Pius Langa says South Africans should not tolerate new forms of discrimination and inequality. Langa was speaking at the same mass rally. He says the Constitution clearly stipulates that human rights are guaranteed for all who live in South Africa. Meanwhile, operations are said to be running smoothly at the Silverstroom Strand Resort on the Cape West Coast where just less than 300 foreign nationals are being accommodated after the spate of xenophobic attacks. A volunteer and priest, Richard Muller, says six marquee tents have been erected. He says there are sufficient toilet facilities.