Pretoria - South Africa is aiming to attract 50 000 skilled migrants annually, department of home affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni said in Pretoria on Thursday.
Part of the department's strategic plan was to implement policy that would achieve this target, he said.
However, South Africa would have to aim to attract the migrants from non-African countries.
"We don't want a brain drain from Africa to South Africa."
Asked what sort of visa process would be put in place to attract skilled migrants, he said the department would have to come up with a policy attractive to its target.
"We are competing with the rest of the world. We have to be able to sell our country," he said.
He said one possible measure could be the offer of permanent residence to skilled migrants after three years.