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It is 4am - outside the Home Affairs Refugee Centre on the Foreshore in Cape Town - rows of people, huddled under plastic or blankets, sleep outside, in order not to lose their place in the queue. Belongings, kept in plastic bags, hang from a tree like fruit of gargantuan proportion and bodies pressed against each other in volatile queues follow in rapid succession, and anyone brandishing a camera is harassed by Home Affairs officials.
It seems as if the images were shot in a disaster area, not in walking distance of a tourist Mecca, and an International Convention Centre. 'One or two of the officials tried to communicate with the crowds, the rest took me right back to the 1980s,' recalls Yudelman, who worked as a photojournalist for The Star Newspaper in the mid-80s during the height of Apartheid.
While working on the project, Yudelman met Braam Hanekom, of PASOP (People Against Suffering Oppression And Poverty), an advocacy and service group that works for refugee rights, shared his insight into the tremendously challenging, at times volatile situation at the Foreshore. 'Of the 300 people gathered daily, only about 40 end up making it onto the bus that will take them to the Home Affairs offices in Barrack Street, where they are issued temporary permits.
People write their names on a list, get numbers allocated. Men and women are separated and there are also groups according to nationalities. There is always confusion though,' said Yudelman. The procedure leaves those who did not make it vulnerable, without status.
Duration: 9min 15sec