This research was encouraged by the growing trend of migration that not only South Africa is facing but the world in general. French-speaking asylum seekers who require interpretation services constitute the subject of interest in this study. The high number of rejected asylum applications raised the question whether the quality of the interpreting service could be among the contributing factors, since a correct understanding of the applicant’s statement is crucial to enable the official at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to make a decision. This research has demonstrated that the role of the interpreter(s) at the DHA in the asylum-seeking process, which includes registration, interviews, and refugee status determination, is pivotal and can influence the outcome.
This study argues that the lack of training among the interpreters who provide services at the DHA and failure to implement the interpreter’s Code of Ethics have failed many asylum seekers. The rights of asylum seekers would often be violated due to poor communication and interaction between the asylum seeker and the DHA official. This research led to the conclusion that many of the interpreters who provide a service at the Pretoria Refugee Reception Office do not carry out their functions in a professional manner, hence many asylum applications are unsatisfactory.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.