Fact Check: Are 80% of the people in Johannesburg really foreign?

Fact Check: Are 80% of the people in Johannesburg really foreign?

- This week saw African nations pited against one another following attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa

- Former deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi claims that 80% of the people in Johannesburg are foreign nationals

- Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind this claim to see if it is the truth or a gross over-exaggeration

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Former deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi claims that Jozi is '80% foreign nationals'.

Briefly.co.za reported that violence against foreigners had prompted retaliation from countries like Zambia and Namibia.

Mkongi insisted the the high number of foreigners in the economic hub of the country is 'dangerous'.

His comments were later echoed by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, who claimed that 'as many as 80%' of residents in the inner city were undocumented foreigners.

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READ ALSO: Fallout from xenophobia: African leaders boycott World Economic Forum

What the City of Johannesburg has to say

Africa Check found that the city could not provide accurate numbers on the number of migrants in the city, despite Mashaba's claim.

Robinson Sathekge, head of the city's migrant help desk, commented on the situation, saying:

“The migrant help desk tried, without success, to tap into existing databases of the Department of Home Affairs and only relies on the statistics produced through census by Statistics South Africa."

What Stats SA has to say

The most recent tally of South Africa's inhabitants was done back in 2011, with the next set due in 2021.

The data collected revealed that none of the areas in and around Joburg had an 80% foreign-born population.

What the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa has to say:

"The group surveyed around 25 000 adults living in Gauteng, finding that only 24.9% of respondents indicated that they had migrated from another country."


The claim that Johannesburg is inhabited largely by foreign nationals is simply unproven, with no indication that the true amount is anywhere near 80% as claimed.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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