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.
With a large migrant community in South Africa, both documented and undocumented, do a “vast number” of the “refugee and migrant children end up at the door of our social services department” and have to be placed “in children’s homes and foster care”, as was claimed recently?
A recent report published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees claims that there are more than a million asylum seekers in South Africa, and that the country is home to the highest number of unresolved asylum cases in the world. But the figure is based on a flawed reading of the available data.
Many civil society organisations will use South Africa’s soon-to-be-released crime statistics to inform their work. But the African Centre for Migration and Society won’t be able to, as there is no official data on the extent of xenophobic violence in the country.