National Council of Provinces’ chairperson, Thandi Modise, has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the issue of mass migration to Gauteng.
According to a report by News24, Modise has raised concerns about how the influx of migrants has impacted healthcare and other services in the province – adding that there has been a significant increase in migration numbers over the last four years.
She further warned that if the issue is not dealt with properly, it could lead to growing criminal networks, the exploitation of vulnerable people, and the undermining of local laws and regulations.
“We know that research shows that the growth of the Gauteng population is large and that growth places a real burden of service delivery to our people,” she said.
“We know from the Minister of Health that almost 60% of the beds used in hospitals are not occupied by South Africans.”
A Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) released in May found that the province experienced net migration from other provinces of 904,619 people from 2006 to 2011 and 981,290 people from 2011 to 2016.
With Statistics South Africa projecting that between 2016 and 2021 another million people could be added to the population – current residents are beginning to feel the effects.
“Gauteng’s established population has not always received this process of normalisation in positive terms, and there remains considerable sympathy for regulating urbanisation,” the GCRO said.
“When asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement ‘there are too many people coming to Gauteng, we should bring back influx-control’, 43% of respondents agreed that influx-control should be reinstated.”