Stats SA mobilises expertise to counsel on Census 2021 delivery

For immediate release                                                                                     8 November 2020

Stats SA mobilises expertise to counsel on Census 2021 delivery

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has appointed a Census National Advisory Committee (NAC), which will serve as an oversight body to advise the Statistician-General as he coordinates and oversees the delivery of the country’s digital population count, Census 2021.  The Census 2021 NAC comprises stakeholders from various entities, including government and private organisations, who will bring on board multi-sector expertise and influence to ensure that the upcoming census undertaking is effective and efficient.

The appointment of the Census 2021 NAC is the final “puzzle piece” at a national level to initiate advocacy, educational and community mobilization initiatives as Stats SA prepares to conduct a census dress rehearsal, the Census 2021 Pilot, early next year. The census pilot will serve as the final preparatory phase for the organisation to conduct the total population count scheduled October next year.

Chaired by Ms Nompumelelo Nzimande from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the constituents of the Census 2021 NAC are senior leadership from Community Schemes Ombudsman, Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa.  The government departments that are represented in the committee are Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Rural Development and Land Reform, Trade and Industry, Government Communications and Information System, Health, National Treasury and the Western Cape Office of the Premier. The South African Post Office, the South African Council of Churches, South African Local Government Association, South African National Editors Forum, South African Property Owners Association, State Information Agency, and Mary Grey and Associates are also members of the advisory committee.

The NAC will not only provide counsel to the organisation on matters Census 2021, it will assist Stats SA to deliver a historic technology-driven census with improved coverage & response rate(s). Its role includes providing specific advice to the Statistician-General about the entire census undertaking from the planning, implementation, and dissemination.

“It is my pleasure to enlist the support of these well distinguished individuals who will bring on board a variety of skills to ensure that Stats SA delivers a successful census. Coined the largest mobilisation of society during peace times, the upcoming census will be conducted under difficult circumstances that are defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be with us for some time. We are ready to undertake the census and leave no one behind”, said Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke.

Census 2021 is the first population count to rely solely on digital devices to collect information from all persons in the country. Fieldworkers will visit different population segments, while the online and telephonic data collection platforms will be availed in specific periods to allow respondents to complete the census questionnaire on their own at no cost to the respondents.

The Statistics Act No. 6 of 1999 mandates Stats SA to collect data for statistical purposes and to conduct a census. The Act makes it mandatory for respondents to provide data when required for use by Stats SA for statistical purposes only. The data remains confidential and may not be shared. Hence, multiple tests to ensure, amongst other things, that security of data is of paramount importance.


Issued by Statistics South Africa

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