Media Release 10 October 2021
Population numbers to redefine our country and its dispensation
The night of October 9/10th marks a decade since the last population census was rolled out in all areas across the country and it serves as countdown to the next population count in February 2022. A census night is a reference to the night before the census day. In terms of statistical methods, this is the decisive point of time for being included in the census or not, set at midnight. Following the intermittent country lockdown alerts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is forging ahead to conduct the next census early next year.
A census is a total population count whereby everyone within the borders of South Africa is counted. The data collected in a census is instrumental in reviewing development and monitoring growth using official data. Census taking in South Africa dates back to the 18th century and similar to voting, participating in the census has become symbolic to a democratic society where everyone, irrespective of age, race, colour or creed is included in the count.
The digital approach to census taking that Stats SA will deploy, will give the public options to complete the census questionnaire with or without the assistance of a census field worker. It furthermore improves the organisations capability to cover all populations. The multi modal approach to data collection, namely; Computer Assisted Personal interview (CAPI), Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) and Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview (CATI), projects a narrative of how technology is advancing to improve processes to deliver services better and faster. CAPI involves face-to-face interviews and will be conducted by visiting transient spots, households, the homeless and Special Dwelling Units, as such, fieldworkers will be issued with branded ID cards and over-shirts for identification. They will also be trained on COVID19 safety protocols which are in line with the Dept. of Health’s guidelines. Fieldworkers’ pictures and details will also be available on the Stats SA website (Fieldworker Verification System) for authentication purpose by members of the public. All collected information will be kept confidential at all times as mandated by the Statistics Act no.6 of 1999.
“Census utilises massive resources and will deploy fieldworkers in excess of 165 000 across the country to update the dwelling frame and identify new dwellings, conduct publicity and to collect data. Recruitment will (ONLY) be through our online database to ensure that people are recruited from where they reside. Stats SA will announce when the recruitment database opens for prospective candidates to register”, said the Statistician-General, Risenga Maluleke.
The changing population structures, spatial spaces as well as population dynamics are among the issues that requires updating of the Geographic frame with each population count and that communities be mobilised ahead of data collection. This will ensure that the undesirable effect of non-coverage in some settlements does not yield an upward trend in the undercount rate. The last census undercount was largely attributed to limited access to populations that reside in gated communities, high walled areas, rural areas and the youth.
A successful Census require a multi-faceted approach to stakeholder engagements with public and private sector organisations, religious and faith based formations, academia and business, among others, to ensure that outreach and buy-in is maximised.
The results of a Census are paramount to planning and are the basis for budget allocations across local, provincial and national government. They also provide municipalities with small area data for use in their Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) hence it is the responsibility of everyone within our boarders to ensure that they are counted during the census. We appeal to various community formations, to assist by encouraging community members to register and participate in the upcoming Census 2022. Even though it is a civic duty to be counted, it is of paramount importance for local representatives to ensure that members of their constituencies are all counted.
Issued by Statistics South Africa
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