Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says they are trying to clamp down on illegal foreigners through their inspectorate, but statistics show there are close to 4 million foreigners in the country.
Motsoaledi said the inspectorate had been able to deport 14 113 undocumented foreign nationals between April and December last year.
This followed 211 inspections in the country.
But during another operation on the borders between January last year and this January the department deported 14 337 people who were trying to get into the country illegally.
“During law enforcement borderline operations conducted during the festive period the department deported 14 337 persons attempting to enter the country illegally,” said Motsoaledi, who was replying to a written question in Parliament from Liezl van der Merwe of the IFP.
However, Motsoaledi said he did not know how many foreign nationals were in the country illegally.
He said there were various figures on the number of people in the country illegally, but the figures differ.
“The government does not have a precise number of the number of undocumented immigrants in Republic due to the clandestine nature of the act of being here illegally.
“A number of persons entered without being recorded on any system and live here as unrecorded.
“Different studies have given different figures which are unverifiable from 3 to 6 million plus.
“However according to figures from Statistics SA, a figure of 3.95 million foreign nationals are in South Africa according to their mid-year population estimates in 2021.
“This figure includes foreign nationals regardless of status,” said Motsoaledi.