At least 5,645 immigrants have been repatriated from South Africa since the end of xenophobia attacks in late April, the government said on Sunday.
Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, who said this in a statement, added that the foreigners chose to leave South Africa voluntarily.
He said Malawians made up the majority of the foreigners, numbering 3,506, followed by Zimbabweans (1,440) and Mozambicans (682), while Tanzanians had (17).
Radebe said the repatriation process started immediately after the latest spate of xenophobia violence ended in April.
“The Department of Social Development continues to work closely with other relevant departments, as well as civil society organisations to provide support to displaced foreign nationals,’’ Radebe said.
Radebe also said over 1,000 foreigners received trauma counselling.
According to the statement, 10 women with children under 12 months of which three had just given birth were flown to their respective countries on their insistence.
Radebe promised that the department would continue to do its work to ensure that the underlying socio-economic issues that gave rise to tensions between South Africans and foreign nationals were dealt with.
Radebe also defended the current Operation Fiela (meaning “sweep’’ in Sesotho language) launched after the end of the xenophobia attacks.
He said the operation was meant to address the security challenges in a structured and coordinated manner.