Thousands of refugees fleeing from surrounding war-torn and destitute African
countries come to South Africa hoping to live in safety. Refugee service providers
play a major role in providing services to help refugees to rebuild their lives and
integrate into South African society.
The article investigated issues facing refugees in South Africa, particularly in
central Cape Town. It aimed in general to determine how effective refugee service
providers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), namely the Agency for Refugee
Education, Skills Training and Advocacy (ARESTA), the Cape Town Refugee Centre
(CTRC) and the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town (SCCT) assist them in overcoming
the hardships of being unprepared in a foreign country, and whether their clients
are satisfied with their services.
The objectives of the article were to identify the kinds of programmes offered and
how they are delivered; to explore refugees’ perceptions about services offered by
refugee service providers in Cape Town; to identify the service providers’ strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); and to develop and provide a
framework for refugee service providers in Cape Town to improve their service
delivery. The article also examined how sharing, or not sharing information affects
the efficacy of services such as education, vocational skills and self-reliance projects.