South Africa received two-thirds the number of migrants the European Union (EU) receives per year, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday.
The migration of people across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe did not in itself present a new “migration crisis”, he told journalists in Cape Town.
He said many “regular and irregular” migrants within Africa made their way overland to other countries on the continent.
“The attention must not be lost on countries who continue to host large numbers of migrants.”
He described the EU’s polices on migration as “disastrous” and said a humane approach was needed.
Countries could have dealt better with the influx than to refer to groups as “swarms”, try to shut down borders, promise to send sniffer dogs and erect fences, Gigaba added.
“We think Europe should approach this as a region, rather than individual countries fighting among [themselves].
“This needs to involve a constructive dialogue with Africa and the Middle East in order to deal with the source of the recent spate of movements of people.”
The Home Affairs Department was in the process of reviewing its international migration white paper.
Gigaba said the last white paper was adopted in 1999 and was archaic. It had been left behind by developments in international migration. News24