The city of Cape Town has made a formal pledge to uphold the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the metropolis and help them integrate into society. Many of the people who are seeking asylum have been displaced due to their political beliefs or because of serious political conflict, city mayor Helen Zille told a gathering of about 200 refugees from 18 countries on world refugee day on 20 June. We must ensure that we live up to our constitutional and humanitarian responsibility to acknowledge and assist them. To this end, the city council, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Tutumike, a regional umbrella organisation for refugee support groups, signed a declaration on refugee rights endorsing these principles. South Africa has approximately 30,000 recognised refugees of whom 10,000 live in Cape Town, while a further 100,000 people are waiting to have their asylum applications processed. Most have fled persecution in other parts of Africa Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Rwanda but some come from other regions, including the Indian subcontinent.