Government officials at the Phoenix Displacement Camp for victims of xenophobia in Durban say close to 98 percent of the people there don’t have identity documents or passports.
The number of people in the camps is fluctuating as some choose to go back to their countries and others return to their communities. The camp in Phoenix has now become the largest, with around 2,400 displaced people.
In the camp there are three marquee tents filled with food, sanitary supplies, mattresses and blankets but most of the people are still sleeping outside.
Sipho Mthethwa from the Durban Mayor’s office says almost all of the people arrived in the country without passports or IDs.
“Most of them don’t have IDs and those who claim to have them say they were misplaced during the chaos.”
He says many of them have chosen to go back home and has stressed that no-one is being deported.
“Those who voluntarily want to go back to their countries will be assisted and tjose who want to be reintegrated into the communities will also get help.”
There are 2,400 people and most of them are foreigners who lived in Durban’s northern areas.
The Eastern Cape government has condemned the looting of foreign shops in the province and urged police to take decisive action following the looting of at least four shops in Cala, near Queenstown on Friday.
The looting was apparently prompted by the arrest of a Zimbabwean man for the murder of a local.