Some residents of the Rand Airport shelter for people displaced by xenophobic violence were refusing to leave even though they had been given money to find new accommodation, a Gauteng government spokesman said on Tuesday.
“Some have received money from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but are refusing to leave Rand Airport,” said Thabo Masebe.
About 2000 people are still living in the shelters which were hastily erected when about 20,000 people left their homes and sought protection during countrywide attacks on foreigners in May.
“We may be forced to take some of them out,” said Masebe.
The residents have until at least the end of September to find somewhere else to live, according to a Constitutional Court judgment.
The UNHCR gave them money to find new accommodation, but Masebe said the government was worried that they would exhaust this money while living in the camps and would be penniless on the closing date.
Camp officials had also discovered that people not registered to be at the camps had managed to slip through security to set up home on the site.
Meanwhile, sites in Cape Town were also being closed as numbers in the shelters dwindled.
The City of Cape Town decided that because most of the shelters’ residents are Muslim, they would not close until the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
More than 60 people died during the violence.