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S/Africa: ‘Pay Covid-19 grants to refugees too’ – Court

South Africa’s High Court on Friday ordered the government to pay refugees and other needy foreigners living in the country coronavirus lockdown allowances as it has done for its own citizens.The court made the ruling following complaints against Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu’s “unconstitutional and unlawful” directive to exclude “foreigners” from accessing the US$20 grant.

The minister’s directive left the foreigners in dire financial straits during the lockdown, with most of them starving for food due to job losses and having no relatives to rely on for help – especially for food.

Ruling in favour of the foreigners, the court sitting in Pretoria said the government should also include “special permit holders” from Lesotho, Angola and Zimbabwe in the payments as well.

The court gave the minister five days to quantify the costs of extending the grants, and another five days to publish amended regulations.

Published on 28.04.2020

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