Key Points:

  • Immigrants in Johannesburg bring migration issues into focus, and mean that migration management issues must move far higher up the policy agenda.
  • Although estimates of the foreign-born population in Johannesburg and in the country as a whole fluctuate, the Centre for Development and Enterprise estimated the number of foreigners in the country in the figure of upwards of half a million or slightly more than 14 per cent of the estimated population of 3,9 million
  • CDE’s findings on immigrant numbers and impact show that increased and continuing migration is inevitable; most immigrants, from all levels, contribute to South Africa’s economy thus meaning that popular fears and misconceptions about migration must be dealt with.
  • South Africa’s concerns about migration and immigration policy must perform difficult balancing acts between humanitarian concerns and international obligations; the need to control borders; citizenship and social integration; and skills needs and the economy.