An exploration into the challenges and experiences of South Sudanese male refugees living in Pretoria, South Africa

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The main purpose of this study is to explore the challenges and experiences of South Sudanese male refugees in South Africa. The 15 South Sudanese men who participated in the current study had left Sudan because of the civil war there. All the participants said that the civil war was characterised by gunshots fired by the Sudanese Government soldiers that were intended to kill the South Sudanese. The participants highlighted certain political, religious and racial inequalities, and the unequal distribution of resources between the South and North Sudanese. The participants indicated that they had come to seek refuge in South Africa for security, safety and socio-economic reasons. Because there was no war or conflict in South Africa, participants came to South Africa to seek refuge. Participants said that South Africa was one of the most peaceful countries in Africa; and that it has enacted laws that allow refugees to live in its territory. The findings show that, although the participants came to South Africa hoping to improve their quality of life and to be secure and safe, participants also acknowledged that living in a foreign country as a refugee is not easy and has positive, as well as negative aspects. All 15 participants identified the Department of Home Affairs as the main problem impeding a smooth application process in their attempts to secure refugee status. The participants identified the process as being lengthy, and spoke about the corruption and harassment they experienced at the Department of Home Affairs. The participants blamed the corruption in the Department of Home Affairs on the staff. The findings show that corruption reduces the chances of refugees securing their refugee status. The findings revealed that because the Home Affairs staff knew the importance of refugee status to refugees, they took advantage of this and asked for bribes from these refugees.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 74-81).