For immediate release 1 April 2021
Statistics South Africa to resume field visits to ensure data integrity for household surveys amid COVID-19 restrictions
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will, from 6 April 2021, resume field visits across the country to update survey respondents’ contact details in order to ensure that the integrity of the data it collects for household surveys such as the General Household Survey and Quarterly Labour Force Survey is not negatively impacted due to COVID-19 restrictions. This exercise will ensure that Stats SA can continue with telephonic data collection for all household surveys in order to provide credible statistics to the nation. These field visits will continue periodically until Stats SA is able to resume face-to-face data collection.
The data Stats SA collects is crucial for planning, policy decisions and interventions. Stats SA also produces data that informs business decisions and guides economic activity. It is, therefore, important to implement alternative methods of data collection to avoid a dearth of crucial data for the nation.
The Statistician-General of South Africa, Mr Risenga Maluleke, appealed for sampled households to provide Stats SA’s fieldworkers with contact details to enable data collection remotely, in line with COVID-19 infection prevention protocols. “It is imperative that households provide Stats SA officials with their contact information if the country is to continue to benefit from the crucial data that we provide,” said Mr Maluleke, adding that the contact information will be used solely for contacting respondents for statistical collection purposes.
Once all contact information for the affected households has been updated, Stats SA will continue the temporary use of alternative interviewing modes, including computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) and computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI), to protect both households and fieldworkers against COVID-19 infection. These methods of data collection will be implemented for unemployment, employment, tourism, household and service delivery surveys such as the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, General Household Survey, Domestic Tourism Survey and the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey.
Stats SA fieldworkers visiting sampled household are trained on COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Our fieldworkers do not have to enter respondents’ premises; contact details can be provided over the intercom or while the fieldworker is outside of the yard to minimise close contact. The Stats SA staff visiting respondents’ premises will also be screened daily and personal protective equipment will be provided to them to minimise the risk of infection.
Fieldworkers can be easily identified by Stats SA-branded bibs. They will carry Stats SA ID cards and introduction letters that provide full details of the undertaking.
To verify that the person at your door is a legitimate Stats SA staff member you can check online (http://www.statssa.gov.za/Fieldworkerverification/home.php), contact the call centre on 0800 110 248, or your nearest district office.
Stats SA guarantees the privacy of your information. Section 16 of the Statistics Act, Act No 6 of 1999, states that individual-level data cannot be shared with any organisation, legal entity or individual. Any Stats SA staff member found to be in breach of this is liable to a fine of up to R 10 000 or 6 months in prison, or both.
Issued by Statistics South Africa
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