The South African Department of Home Affairs on Wednesday said it has spent 40 million rand (2.6 million US dollars) to deport thousands of undocumented migrants to their countries of origin between April 2018 and August 2019.
The bulk of the amount was spent purchasing flight tickets, while migrants from neighboring countries were transported by bus.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s spokesperson Siya Qoza told Xinhua that the department had started discussions with individual countries and their embassies about the exorbitant costs of deporting undocumented foreigners.
“We are currently negotiating with various countries around the world on how to share the burden of deporting people. There’s no global standard in terms of how we can share the costs,” he said.
The department is also working with local municipalities across the country to deal with illegal migrants.
Qoza said South Africa has raised the issue at the United Nations (UN) with other countries.
Last month, the department disclosed that 10,000 illegal migrants had been deported to their countries of origin since the start of the year. The previous year saw over 20,000 deported.