The South African migration policy debate is centred on four critical issues, namely: the question of illegal immigration; affirmative action; employment of migrant workers in the mining industry; and changing migration patterns through regional development.
Although there are no official figures to verify this statement, journalists have reported that South Africa now has upwards of two million illegal immigrants – mostly people from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and sometimes Nigeria, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.
To control entry and limit the number of illegal migrants, governments around the world have adopted border and port-of-entry controls, visa policies, internal controls and deportation capabilities, legalisation and employer sanctions.
International experience shows that governments also focus on stimulating the economies of sending countries in an effort to reduce the socio-economic incentives for exit. They do this by concentrating on expanding trade, foreign investment, and development assistance.