Archive from February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Refugees Amendment Bill: Department responses to submissions, with Deputy Minister
21 February 2017 – Parliament
The Department of Home Affairs briefed the Committee on its responses to the submissions received on the Bill.The brief presented a summary of 19 submissions made from over a total of over 200 pages submitted by various organisations to the Bill, arranged according to clauses of the Bill and sections of the original Refugees Act. Submissions were received from the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy (ARESTA), Amnesty International (AI), the Centre for Child Law (CCL), the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR), the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA), the Goodway& Buck Attorneys (GBA), the International Network of Congolese Lawyers (INCL), Joburg Child Welfare (JCW), the Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa (JRS), Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Mr MJ Bauwen’s: Refugee Lawyer (MJB), Mr Kande (Lecturer/Writer) (MKL), the Refugee Legal and Advocacy Centre(RLAC), the Rwandan Refugee Community Association (RRCA), the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town (SCCT), the Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa (SIHMA) and Stop the Attack on Refugee Rights Campaign (STAR).
Responding to comments made by the AI, SCCT, LRC, LHR, CORMSA, STAR and MJB whom had a view to amend the preamble, the Department noted that all issues that were dealt with in the Bill were challenges to the asylum process and the Department was of the view that the proposed amendments should be treated with some urgency. The DHA also noted that the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act applied in all administrative actions, regardless of whether or not its principles were incorporated into any legislation. The DHA agreed with Amnesty International that the realisation of adequate and comprehensive protection of asylum-seekers and refugees required adequate resources. Comments were made by MJB, stating that the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs and the Refugee Appeals Board should be merged for efficiency of services to access manifestly unfounded and unfounded applications and should comprise of three members and one judge,including only one process for unfounded cases after beingfound manifestly unfounded. This was a policy matter and for as long as there was review and appeal, the provisions for theRefugee Appeals Boardandthe Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) were to make processes work smoothly. On the comment that there should be an improvement of refugee status determination process in order to avoid unnecessary rejection of applications on the basis of unfounded reasons, the Department responded that italways pointed to the abuse of the asylum system by economic migrants (with such applications making up about 90% of applications). In this regard, the reference made to the Musina Refugee Reception Office having granted status to only five people was an outcome of quality assurance for the Department.
The Department said that trends available pointed to most asylum-seekers avoiding making applications at the Musina Refugee Reception Office, due to its inefficiency levels, thereby choosing to lodge their applications at Marabastad Refugee Reception Office where quality assurance was constrained. The DHA always strived to ensure that Refugee Status Determination Officers (RSDOs)made good quality decisions and in this regard, the Bill proposed certain measures under clause 9C whereby the SCRA might assist with monitoring and supervision of the RSDOs.
Responding to the comment made by the LRC that apartheid rejected international standards but the country was bound by international refugee conventions which led to excellent Refugees Act, which should not be allowed to regress due to severe security measures, the Department said that the proposed amendments were aimed at providing measures to deal with the challenges experienced within the system and not intended to move away from the obligations under international instruments. The asylum system was however not meant for economic migrants. The DHA was of the view that genuine asylum-seekers and refugees would be aided by the efficiency brought about by the proposed changes. It was not meant to diminish or restrict access to Refugee Reception Offices for asylum-seekers or refugees. There was nothing in the Bill that sought to withdraw the already granted protection, neither was anything sought to restrict access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure.
The DHA further responded to comments made in relation to clause 1 (definitions), clause 2 (exclusion from refugee status), clause 3 (cessation), clause 6 (RRO and RSDOs), clause 7 (composition of Refugee Appeal Authority), clause 13 (the SCRA), cause 14 (crime prevention), clause 15 (rejection of application), clause 16 (unaccompanied child and person with mental disability), clause 17 (refugee children), clause 18 (asylum-seeker visa), clause 19 (detention of asylum-seekers), clause 20 (decision regarding asylum), clause 21 (review by SCRA), clause 22 (referral of decision back to RSDO by RRA), clause 23 (continuous residence), clause 24 (removal and detention of refugees and asylum-seekers), clauses 25 and 26 (time limit to inform of change of address) and clause 27 (withdraw of refugee status).
Members sought clarity ontransitional provisions, on the substitution of the word “in anyway” for the word “in the prescribed circumstances”, on five days period, on composition of SCRA, on refugee status determination procedure and on the capacity to implement the Bill when came into force.
The Committee considered and adopted the report on responses of the DHA, the second and third quarter 2016/17 expenditure and performance reports of the DHA, and minutes of 06 January 2017, 24 January 2017 and 31 January 2017.
Meeting report
Opening remarks
The Chairperson opened a meeting by noting that the DHA would be briefing the Committee on its responses to issues arising out of the submissions received on the Bill. The Committee was expecting to hear reasons why those recommendations in respect of certain clauses of the Bill were dismissed and thus not taken into account. He noted apologies from Ms SNkomo(IFP) and Ms NMnisi (ANC). He welcomed Ms Fatima Chohan, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and gave her an opportunity to pronounce opening remarks. The Deputy Minister responded that she would speak after briefing and this would depend on whether more clarity was needed.

Responses by the DHA on the submissions received on the Bill
Mr Dean Erasmus, Chief Director: Legal Services,DHA took the Committee through the consolidated public comments and inputs received from individuals and civil societies. The brief presented a summary of 19 submissions of over 200 pages made by various organisations to the Bill and arranged these according to clauses of the Bill and sections of the original Refugees Act. Submissions were received from:

– The Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy (ARESTA)
– Amnesty International (AI)
– The Centre for Child Law (CCL)
– The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR)
– Commission for Gender Equality (CGE)
– The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA)
– Goodway& Buck Attorneys (GBA)
– The International Network of Congolese Lawyers (INCL)
– Joburg Child Welfare (JCW)
– The Jesuit Refugee Service South Africa (JRSSAF)
– Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
– Legal Resources Centre (LRC),
– MJ Bauwen’s Refugee Law (MJB)
– Mr Kande (Lecturer/Writer) (MKL)
– The Refugee Legal and Advocacy Centre(RLAC)
– The Rwandan Refugee Community Association (RRCA)
– The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town (SCCT)
– The Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa (SIHMA) and
– Stop the Attack on Refugee Rights Campaign (STAR).

Responding to comments made by the AI, SCCT, LRC, LHR, CORMSA, STAR and MJB with a view to amending the preamble, Mr Erasmus noted that all issues that were dealt with in the Bill were challenges to the asylum process and the DHA was of the view that the proposed amendments should be treated with some urgency. He noted that the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act applied in all administrative actions regardless of whether or not its principles were incorporated into any legislation. The DHA agreed with the AI that realisation of adequate and comprehensive protection of asylum-seekers and refugees required adequate resources. Accordingly the DHA should be fully resourced. On the comment made by MJB that the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) and the Refugee Appeals Board (RAB) should be merged for efficiency of services to access manifestly unfounded and unfounded applications, and should comprise of three members and one judge and only process for unfounded cases after manifestly unfounded, he said that it was a policy matter and for as long as there was review and appeal, the provisions for RAB and SCRA were to make processes work smoothly.

On the comment that there should be an improvement of refugee status determination process in order to avoid unnecessary rejection of application on the basis of unfounded reasons, he responded that the DHA always appointed to an abuse of the asylum system by economic migrants (with such applications making up about 90% of applications). In this regard, the reference made to the Musina Refugee Reception Office having granted status to only five people was for the DHA was an outcome of quality assurance.

Mr Erasmus said that trends available pointed to most asylum-seekers avoiding making applications at the Musina Refugee Reception Office due to its inefficiency levels thereby choosing to lodge their applications at Marabastad Refugee Reception Office where quality assurance was constrained. The DHA always strived to ensure that RSDO’s made good quality decisions and in this regard, the Bill proposed certain measures under clause 9C whereby SCRA might assist with monitoring and supervision of the RSDOs.

Responding to the comment made by the LRC that apartheid rejected international standards but the country was bound by international refugee conventions which had led to excellent Refugees Act, which should not be allowed to regress due to severe security measures, Mr Erasmus said that the proposed amendments were aimed at providing measures to deal with the challenges experienced within the system and not intended to move away from the obligations under international instruments. The asylum system was however not meant for economic migrants. The DHA was of the view that genuine asylum-seekers and refugees would be aided by the efficiency brought about by the proposed changes. It was not meant to diminish or restrict access to RRO for asylum-seekers or refugees. There was nothing in the Bill that sought to withdraw the already granted protection, neither was anything sought to restrict access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure.

Mr Erasmus further responded to comments made in relation with clause 1 (definitions), clause 2 (exclusion from refugee status), clause 3 (cessation), clause 6 (RRO and RSDOs), clause 7 (composition of Refugee Appeal Authority), clause 13 (the SCRA), cause 14 (crime prevention), clause 15 (rejection of application), clause 16 (unaccompanied child and person with mental disability), clause 17 (refugee children), clause 18 (asylum-seeker visa), clause 19 (detention of asylum-seekers), clause 20 (decision regarding asylum), clause 21 (review by SCRA), clause 22 (referral of decision back to RSDO by RRA), clause 23 (continuous residence), clause 24 (removal and detention of refugees and asylum-seekers), clauses 25 and 26 (time limit to inform of change of address), clause 27 (withdraw of refugee status). See the attachment.

Discussion

The Chairperson said that Members should seek clarity from the Department to understand correctly what its responses contained. Referring to the response made with regard to concerns raised by the RRCA that there was a lack of transitional provisions for existing asylum-seekers, the Chairperson sought clarity on whether there were existing backlogs in appeal.

The DHA responded that there were no backlogs for RSDOs and therefore there was no need for transitional provision in that regard. However, the DHA proposed transitional provisions as new clause 31.

The Chairperson sought clarity from Mr MHoosen (DA) whether he agreed with the DHA’s contention and asked Members whether they were in consensus with responses provided with regards to definitions. Referring to the exclusion from refugee status clause, he sought clarity on the substitution of the words “in anyway” for the words “in the prescribed circumstances”.

Ms D Raphuti (ANC) sought clarity on whether refugee status was indefinite or a fixed period.

Mr Erasmus responded that a refugee was not automatically indefinite as circumstances that might have brought about the reasons for seeking asylum might change thereby bringing a change in the status of a person.

The Chairperson, referring to slide 33, sought clarity on the reference to “in any way”.

Mr Erasmus responded that, in referring to “in any way”, the DHA wished to point out that every case would be dealt with on its own merit. The DHA would base its decision on information before it.

The Chairperson referring to slide 48 and sought clarity on the composition of the SCRA and on whether the determination of refugee status should be done by one person or three persons.

Mr Erasmus responded that all functions of SCRA may be undertaken by single member as may be considered necessary. Additional members could be decided on by the Chairperson of SCRA.

Mr DGumede (ANC) sought clarity on whether the DHA had human capacity to ensure that the Bill was implemented effectively.

The Chairperson sought clarity on whether the five days period to report to the RROs was maintained or amended. He remarked that people fleeing from danger ordinarilydid not use ports of entry because they wanted to ensure that they were not stopped from entry in the Republic. They feared that they could be arrested and deported back to their home countries. Once in the country, they might not know where to report to.

Mr Mandla Madumisa, Acting Chief Director: Asylum Seeker Management, Department of Home Affairs, said that asylum-seekers were approached in different ways. Those applicants for asylum from South African Development Community (SADC) countries were treated differently. If people from neighbouring countries did not use port of entry the DHA understood that. However, it did not understand how people from further afield countries could not use ports of entry. The DHA was not saying that they should not apply; rather, they should explain why they did not use a designated port of entry whilst they travelled through various countries. These people ought to report within five days and the five days period was aligned with the Immigration Act. Five days kicked off once a person expressed his intention to seek asylum. If an asylum seeker passed through Lebombo port of entry, he or she was expected to report to the nearest RRO which was Desmond Tutu.

The Chairperson sought clarity on how all this information would be processed to ensure that asylum-seekers were not victimised by the system. How would you deal with the person who spent three months in KwaMashu and, after three months, showed up to Desmond Tutu to apply for asylum?

MrMadumisa responded that such person who spent three or six months in the country but not in possession of asylum-seeker visa would be allowed to sit for an interview after which he or she satisfied officials why she failed to report to the RRO as soon as he or she arrived in the country.

Ms Fatima Chohan, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, welcomed submissions from the public participation and said that it provided some potential inputs that would be considered to improve provisions of the Bill.

Consideration and adoption of public hearings report on the Refugees Amendment Bill
The Chairperson tabled the report. It was considered and adopted without further amendment.

Consideration and adoption of the second and third quarter 2016/17 expenditure and performance reports of the Department of Home Affairs.
The Chairperson tabled the report. It was adopted with minor amendments

Consideration and adoption of outstanding minutes
The Chairperson tabled the minutes of 6 January 2017. It was considered and adopted with a minor amendment. He tabled the minutes of 24 January 2017 and 31 January 2017. It was considered and adopted without amendments.

The meeting was adjourned.

Feb 27, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

New legislation will tighten immigration control, beef up SA’s borders

New legislation will tighten immigration control, beef up SA’s borders
February 24, 2017 – The South African

Home affairs minister Malusi Gigabe is in the process of finalising new legislation that the dept hopes will improve the current handling of migrants.
The International migration white paper is set to make its way to parliament in March and will tackle important issues around asylum seekers and immigration. Minister Malusi Gigaba believes the new bill will further protect genuine asylum seekers while closing legal loopholes currently exploited by some migrants.
The minister added that his department will also establish a new border management authority, but perhaps it’s not the organisation and rather the staff that have led us to the disastrous state we’re in today.
According to the department of home affairs, 33 000 illegal immigrants were booted from South African between 2015 and 2016.

Feb 27, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Foreign nationals not uninvolved in crime – Jacob Zuma

Foreign nationals not uninvolved in crime – Jacob Zuma
26 February 2017 – Politics Web

President calls on citizens and non-citizens to exercise restraint, unite against criminality
President Jacob Zuma is to champion the fight against crime in order to promote safer and more stable communities, in light of several complaints from communities about drug trafficking and abuse and other serious crimes which cause fear among many residents in the country.
The situation has become more serious in light of current threats of violence and acts of intimidation and destruction of property directed at non-nationals living in South Africa. Residents in some communities blame non-nationals for the escalating crimes especially drug trafficking. Violence erupted in Pretoria West and Rosettenville, and there are simmering tensions that have been reported in other areas including the dissemination of hate speech and threatening messages via social media.
The President has strongly condemned the acts of violence and calls upon citizens and non-nationals to exercise restraint, unite against crime and work with the authorities to bring perpetrators of crime to book.
The President visited Nyanga in Cape Town two weeks ago, one of the serious crime hotspots in the country. He will be visiting other communities as well to obtain a first-hand account of problems faced on the ground with respect to crime.
On Wednesday (22 February) the President met with the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster Ministers to discuss a strategy to respond to crime more vigorously in the many hotspots around the country.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration has also been directed to look into the threats of violence and ensure that programmes agreed to since the last outbreak of violence, which are being implemented, are communicated to the public.
“The security Ministers briefed me about recent incidents of violence and destruction of property as well as rumours of impending violence directed at non-nationals circulating on social media. There are real concerns by South Africans in many areas about serious crime that is destabilising communities. In Nyanga ambulances cannot even enter the township to fetch sick people to take them to hospital. Delivery vans have to be escorted by police when entering the townships. People fear even walking around the townships. I impressed upon the Ministers that action is needed in Nyanga and other areas. Our people cannot continue to live in fear like this,” said the President.
The President said government has also noted the complaints of South Africans about companies that employ illegal immigrants. He reiterated that the Department of Home Affairs will be cracking down on all employers who continue with this practice, which is dangerous as it pits locals against non-nationals.
President Zuma also appealed to citizens not to blame all criminal activities on non-nationals.
“Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively. It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers. Let us isolate those who commit such crimes and work with government to have them arrested, without stereotyping and causing harm to innocent people. In particular, Government requests communities to assist the police with information relating to complaints that some non-nationals may be involved in selling drugs, human trafficking and other serious crimes. This will enable law enforcement agencies to act against such lawlessness regardless of the place of origin of the perpetrators”.
President Zuma reiterated his assertion that South Africans are not xenophobic and that the problems they are raising with respect to crime will be attended to.
The President has also urged unity among citizens and non-nationals to fight crime.
“The threats and counter-threats on social media must stop. All must exercise restraint, respect the laws of the land and work together to fight crime and build safer communities,” said the President.

Feb 27, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

No data shows that 800,000 Nigerians live in SA

No data shows that 800,000 Nigerians live in SA

Africa Check 22 February 2017
Xenophobic unrest has flared up in parts of South Africa once again, with incidents of looting and violence reported in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The Nigerian government is said to have asked the African Union to intervene in the violence targeted at its own nationals. News reports documenting this repeatedly quote a figure of “around 800,000 Nigerians living in South Africa”.
The figure has previously been attributed to the spokesman for the Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA).
Is it validated by current data?
NIGERIAN UNION USES ‘APPROXIMATED FIGURE’
NUSA spokesman, Eneka Ezinteje, told Africa Check that the 800,000 figure is an “approximated figure based on projections from current data”.
The union issues each member with an ID card and collects data on the number of Nigerians from its 76 wards scattered across the country. The NUSA ID card is only issued to Nigerian passport holders.
But Ezinteje couldn’t confirm the exact number of ID cards issued by NUSA and whether every Nigerian living in South Africa (including naturalised South Africans) have the ID card.
2016 DATA SHOWS JUST OVER 30,000 NIGERIANS IN SA
The most recent data on how many Nigerians (and other foreign-born migrants) are living in South Africa is to be found in Statistics South Africa’s 2016 Community Survey.
It estimated that 30,314 people – or roughly 2% of foreign-born people living in South Africa – are from Nigeria. South Africa’s 2011 census found this figure to be 26,341. The United Nation’s estimate for 2015 was even lower, at 17,753. (Note: In a blog post, University of Cape Town demography professor Tom Moultrie explains how these estimates were calculated and why they differ.)
“There is absolutely no way that this claim is true,” Loren Landau, a research professor based at the African Centre for Migration and Society, told Africa Check.
“If you look at Statistics South Africa data, there are only about 1.5 to 2 million international migrants in total in the country. Although these figures are undoubtedly imperfect, they are better than any other data out there.”
CONCLUSION: NO DATA SUPPORTS CLAIM THAT 800,000 NIGERIANS LIVE IN SA
The Nigerian Union South Africa did not provide data to back up their claim that 800,000 Nigerians are living in South Africa.
Available estimates from Statistics South Africa and the United Nations show just over 30,000 Nigerians in South Africa. Although these figures are imperfect, they come nowhere close 800,000.

Feb 27, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

Sapa Durban – A number of steps are required to ensure Africa increases its share of the global tourism market, African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.

Sapa
Durban – A number of steps are required to ensure Africa increases its share of the global tourism market, African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.
May 09 2014 – Fin24
Sapa
Durban – A number of steps are required to ensure Africa increases its share of the global tourism market, African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.
Eliminating complicated visa processes, liberalising air routes, and eliminating poaching were all required for Africa to gain a greater share of the global tourism market, she told a tourism industry indaba in Durban.
Dlamini-Zuma said tourist wanted to visit but were not interested in having to face administrative hurdles.
“We must work on a simplified visa and joint visas,” she said, adding that this would make travelling between countries easier for tourists.
She said the “scourge of poaching” posed a major threat to tourism.
“The scale of poaching shows the existence of a well organised crime ring [working] with high-ranking public officials.”
The loss of wildlife would be catastrophic for future generations as well as future tourism benefits.
She said the AU was aiming to make Africa the preferred travel destination by 2063, but much needed to be done before then.
Dlamini-Zuma said that apart from attracting overseas tourists, Africa also needed to tap into the continent’s own 300 million-strong middle class with its growing disposable income.
“We must ensure they spend it [the disposable income] on the continent.”

Feb 24, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

‘Totally out of the question’ that a third of Malawi’s population live in SA

‘Totally out of the question’ that a third of Malawi’s population live in SA
13 January 2017 – Africa Check
South African television programme Carte Blanche investigated the fraught journey to South Africa many Malawians experience. But their hard-hitting figure that “almost one-third of Malawi’s population” live in South Africa is completely off-point.
Salim Eddie Ibrahim from Malawi joined hundreds of refugees as they queued outside the South African department of home affairs in Cape Town in June 2013 to apply for extensions of their asylum seeker permits. Photo: AFP/RODGER BOSCH
After the publication of this piece, Carte Blanche corrected the statement on their website.
For some Malawians trying to get to South Africa without travel documents, the journey ends in robbery, sexual assault or even death.
South African investigative journalism show Carte Blanche last year documented these atrocities and the insert was repeated last Sunday.
Advertising the show, Carte Blanche stated on their website (and in a TV promo, according to a reader) that “almost one-third of Malawi’s population lives and works in South Africa.”
Like many other African nationals, Malawians make their way to South Africa for various reasons. But is there evidence that nearly a third of Malawi’s population have left for South Africa?
The claim originated with the Malawian high commissioner to South Africa, Professor Chrissie Kaponda, who was asked how many Malawians live in South Africa.
“I don’t know,” Kaponda told Carte Blanche. “I don’t have a real figure but I have heard projections like 6 million or 5 million. Actually, we don’t have any reports of how many Malawians are here.”
A Carte Blanche voice-over continued, stating that the figure used by Kaponda represents “almost a third of the country’s entire population of 18 million”.
This figure is more than the most recent estimates of Malawi’s population. Malawi’s National Statistical Office has projected that in 2016 the country’s population would be 16.83 million while the United Nations estimated the population at 17.75 million.
Data shows less than 100,000 Malawians in SA
To start with, if 5 to 6 million Malawians lived in South Africa, it would represent as much as triple the total number of foreign-born migrants currently thought to live in the country.
South Africa’s 2011 Census showed an estimated 2.2 million people living in South Africa were born outside the country. Statistics South Africa’s recent 2016 Community Survey found this figure had dropped to 1.6 million people. However, this decline seems improbable and Stats SA indicated that they would be investigating the matter.
The UN provides a higher estimate of the migrant population in South Africa, at 3.14 million by mid-2015. In a detailed analysis for Africa Check, University of Cape Town demographer Professor Tom Moultrie suggests that based on available data, at best we can assume that there are “between one and three million” foreign-born migrants living in South Africa.
Stats SA and the UN population division on international migration both provide estimates of Malawians living in South Africa that are magnitudes lower than the 5 to 6 million claimed.
The 2011 census indicated that 86,606 people who were born in Malawi lived in South Africa. The latest figure, from the 2016 survey, is 78,796. This is in line with the UN population division’s 2015 estimate of 76,605.
The census and community surveys do not ask whether or not migrants are documented and therefore these figures should include all foreign-born migrants. However, there are suggestions that, given South Africa’s history of xenophobia, foreign-born migrants are increasingly cautious of revealing their origins.
Although concerns have been raised about recent figures and estimates surrounding foreign-born migrants in South Africa, it is plain to see that the total number of Malawi-born migrants living in South Africa does not come remotely close to the millions suggested.
Migration data is often inexact as it is “notoriously hard to collect”, Moultrie explained. However, if the number of Malawians living in South Africa did stretch into the millions, experts say there would be other indicators of such a dramatic spike.
“The precise numbers of foreigners in South Africa is up for debate,” Professor Loren Landau from the African Centre for Migration and Society at the University of the Witwatersrand told Africa Check. “The even more difficult task of counting people from a particular country is open to further interpretation.”
Still, the difference between the official estimates and the Carte Blanche figure is too big, Landau added.
“It would be a miracle” if the true number of Malawians in South Africa were more than 60 times the available estimates, he said.
Professor of actuarial science at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Actuarial Research, Rob Dorrington, explained: “Unless there is some reason that we are missing Malawians in particular the same would have to be true for other foreign-born people, at least the majority of foreigners.”
The chief director for demography at Stats SA, Diego Iturralde, said similar claims have been about other nationalities but that these statements lack proof.
“It is totally out of the question that there would be 5 to 6 million Malawians in South Africa. Similar suggestions have been made about Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and other country’s residents in South Africa and none of them are accompanied by any robust or credible data,” he told Africa Check.
If there were that many Malawians, or that many foreign-born migrants from any nation, the spike would be reflected in other data, such as annual birth rates, he added.
“Migration is at the best of times a complex thing to measure, and I would advise the public at large to desist from making headline-grabbing claims without substantiating it with data that is robust, credible and has passed the scientific test for rigour,” Iturralde said.
Conclusion: The claim is nowhere near correct
The Malawi high commissioner’s statement to Carte Blanche, that she had “heard projections like 6 million or 5 million” Malawi-born citizens were living in South Africa, is an anecdotal claim. It could and should have easily been checked and debunked by the South African investigative reporting programme.
Although official foreign-born migration estimates are not without problems, figures from organisations like Stats SA and the UN clearly show that the total number of foreign-born migrants living in South Africa is significantly less than that.
In addition, all current data suggests that the Malawi-born population currently living in South Africa does not exceed 100,000 people – a fraction of the incorrect figure beamed into living rooms around the country.

Feb 24, 2017 - Business Permit    No Comments

No data shows that 800,000 Nigerians live in SA

No data shows that 800,000 Nigerians live in SA
EWN – 22 February 2017

Xenophobic unrest has flared up in parts of South Africa once again, with incidents of looting and violence reported in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The Nigerian government is said to have asked the African Union to intervene in the violence targeted at its own nationals. News reports documenting this repeatedly quote a figure of “around 800,000 Nigerians living in South Africa”.
The figure has previously been attributed to the spokesman for the Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA).
Is it validated by current data?
NIGERIAN UNION USES ‘APPROXIMATED FIGURE’
NUSA spokesman, Eneka Ezinteje, told Africa Check that the 800,000 figure is an “approximated figure based on projections from current data”.
The union issues each member with an ID card and collects data on the number of Nigerians from its 76 wards scattered across the country. The NUSA ID card is only issued to Nigerian passport holders.
But Ezinteje couldn’t confirm the exact number of ID cards issued by NUSA and whether every Nigerian living in South Africa (including naturalised South Africans) have the ID card.
2016 DATA SHOWS JUST OVER 30,000 NIGERIANS IN SA
The most recent data on how many Nigerians (and other foreign-born migrants) are living in South Africa is to be found in Statistics South Africa’s 2016 Community Survey.
It estimated that 30,314 people – or roughly 2% of foreign-born people living in South Africa – are from Nigeria. South Africa’s 2011 census found this figure to be 26,341. The United Nation’s estimate for 2015 was even lower, at 17,753. (Note: In a blog post, University of Cape Town demography professor Tom Moultrie explains how these estimates were calculated and why they differ.)
“There is absolutely no way that this claim is true,” Loren Landau, a research professor based at the African Centre for Migration and Society, told Africa Check.
“If you look at Statistics South Africa data, there are only about 1.5 to 2 million international migrants in total in the country. Although these figures are undoubtedly imperfect, they are better than any other data out there.”
CONCLUSION: NO DATA SUPPORTS CLAIM THAT 800,000 NIGERIANS LIVE IN SA
The Nigerian Union South Africa did not provide data to back up their claim that 800,000 Nigerians are living in South Africa.
Available estimates from Statistics South Africa and the United Nations show just over 30,000 Nigerians in South Africa. Although these figures are imperfect, they come nowhere close 800,000.

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