Fact Check: Mashaba says 15 million undocumented foreigners live in SA

Fact Check: Mashaba says 15 million undocumented foreigners live in SA

- Herman Mashaba recently cited an article claiming that South Africa is home to 15 million 'unregistered' people

- However, the data seems to have misled the ActionSA leader who is a firm advocate against illegal foreign nationals

- Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind this claim to determine where Mashaba went wrong

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Herman Mashaba recently had citizens up in arms after claiming that 15 million 'undocumented foreigners' call South Africa home.

Mashaba has always highlighted the issue of the nation's strained resources needing to be distributed to include undocumented migrants, claiming that Johannesburg's inner-city residents consisted mostly of foreigners.

Briefly.co.za explores the facts behind this staggering claim:

Mainstream
Mashaba claimed that there are 15 million 'unregistered' people in SA. Image: Simphiwe Nkwali/Sunday Times
Source: Getty Images

Africa Check reports that Mashaba had shared a link to an article from The Citizen, published last year.

The report had quoted the World Bank as having claimed that 'the country has more than 15 million unregistered people'.

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However, this points to something entirely different to what Mashaba had been discussing. The World Bank did indeed provide these estimates, but it was referring to citizens who do not have 'proof of legal identity'.

While migrants are often labelled as 'undocumented' it is not nearly the same thing as having no proof of identity.

The nation's most recent census pointed to approximately 2.2 million foreign nationals living in South Africa.

Stats SA estimates at, using more recent data, the number of foreign nationals currently living in SA is around 3.9 million.

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Shepard and Mary Bushiris escape out of South Africa and back to Malawi has been dominating headlines.

In the wake of this news, citizens have been sharing clips of how foreign nationals illegally flood into South Africa through evidently porous borders.

Shocking incidents where large groups of people are witnessed catching taxis to unknown destinations has invoked fury in many.

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With the South African government seemingly finding it difficult to make ends meet and provide adequate healthcare and education to citizens, the idea of stretching these resources to accommodate those illegally in the country is far from appealing.

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has reacted to a clip allegedly of Zimbabwean nationals crossing into SA with anger:

"If you can carry a mattress over the border this easily, imagine how easy it is to carry drugs and counterfeit goods over the border. Our country is turning into a joke!"

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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