The Foundation for Human Rights has started receiving requests from migrants in Diepsloot who want to be assisted to go back to their countries after attacks on immigrants.
The Johannesburg-based organisation, which focuses on human rights issues across SA, said it was in contact with other civic organisations and governments to help those who want to leave the township.
Sarah Motha, the foundation's programme director for vulnerable groups, said their members on the ground have also established that dozens of immigrants have already relocated from Diepsloot for their safety.
“There's a high level of fear in people who have been living in Diepsloot as immigrants. Since the acts of violence started some have relocated while some are asking to be repatriated to their home countries,” Motha said.
She said their members were trying to get to grips with the situation with the aim of intervening and helping the most vulnerable.
Motha said it was too early to give estimates of the number of those that want to return to their home countries fearing for their lives.
“We have met with other civic organisations today to map out how we can intervene and get help in terms of evacuating those that want to be evacuated [from Diepsloot],” Motha said.
Rashuping Morake, CEO of Rhiza Babuyile, a non-governmental organisation operating in Diepsloot, said residents of the crowded township “are desperate for a reprieve from years of unfettered violence, criminality and social decay due to a lack of government services and policing”.
“There are so many things that people are not aware of that take place in this area at the hands of unknown perpetrators which the community have identified as foreign nationals,” said Morake.