In its endeavour to fulfill the purpose of providing users with quality information, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has adopted the following principles developed by the Economics and Social Council Statistical Commission of the United Nations:
Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis to honour citizens’ entitlement to public information.
To retain trust in official statistics, Stats SA will decide, according to strictly professional considerations, including scientific principles and professional ethics, on the methods and procedures for the collection, processing, storage and presentation of statistical data.
To facilitate the correct interpretation of data, Stats SA will present information according to scientific standards on the sources, methods and procedures of statistics.
Stats SA is entitled to comment on erroneous interpretation and misuse of statistics.
Data for statistical purposes may be drawn from all types of sources, be they statistical surveys or administrative records. Stats SA will choose the source with regard to quality, timeliness, costs and the burden on respondents.
Individual data collected by Stats SA for statistical compilation, whether they refer to natural or legal persons, will be strictly confidential and used exclusively for statistical purposes.
The laws, regulations and measures under which the statistical systems operate will be made public.
Stats SA will promote coordination among statistical producers within South Africa in order to advance consistency and efficiency in the statistical system.
Stats SA will use international concepts, classifications and methods, where possible, to promote the consistency and efficiency of statistical systems between countries.
Bilateral and multilateral cooperation in statistics contributes to the improvement of systems of official statistics in all countries.