Why was the Cape Town RRO closed?

The Department of Home Affairs closed Cape Town RRO in July 2012 for new asylum applications. The closure meant the Cape Town RRO was no longer fully-functional and would operate only for those who lodged claims prior to the closure. Asylum seekers who arrived after the closure had to apply at the remaining fully functioning RROs – Durban, Musina and Pretoria – and then return to the RRO of application for any further administration of their claim, including permit renewals.

The Department of Home Affairs has stated the Cape Town RRO was closed due to the undesirability and difficulties in operating urban RROs, the geographic position of Cape Town in relation to the fact that many asylum seekers enter South Africa on the northern borders, and to control the asylum seeker process as the Department contends that many asylum applications are made by economic migrants abusing the asylum system.