Improving Lives

Through Data Ecosystems

Statistician-General’s duties and powers

7. (1) The Statistician-General—
(a) administers this Act;
(b) is the accounting officer for Statistics South Africa;
(c) after receiving advice from the Council, makes recommendations to the Minister on the policies and priorities of Statistics South Africa;
(d) directs Statistics South Africa in accordance with the duties and powers imposed or conferred on him or her by this Act, section 7(3)(b) of the Public Service Act and any other law;
(e) determines, and exercises final responsibility regarding the implementation of, the work programme of Statistics South Africa, including—
(i) the collection, compilation and analysis of official statistics in accordance with the purpose of official statistics and the statistical principles contemplated in section 3;
(ii) the times when and the manner in which statistical collections are undertaken and the form of any document pertaining thereto;
(iii) the manner in which data are processed, documented and stored;
(iv) the form, extent and timing of the release of statistical information;
(v) development work in statistics; and
(vi) the discontinuance of a statistical collection.
(2) The Statistician-General must—
(a) cause a population census to be taken in the year 2001 and every five years thereafter, on a date determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette, unless the Minister, on the advice of the Statistician-General and by notice in the Gazette, determines otherwise;
(b) develop and maintain registers or lists which may be of use in producing statistics;
(c) furnish the Minister and the Council each year with a report in respect of the activities of Statistics South Africa during that year, which report the Minister must as soon as possible table in Parliament;
(d) undertake any statistical collection if so directed by the Minister in terms of section 5(2)(a);
(e) formulate quality criteria and establish standards, classifications and procedures for statistics;
(f) provide statistical advice to other organs of state;
(g) in terms of section 14, promote co-ordination among producers of official statistics in order to—
(i) advance the quality, consistency, comparability and optimum use of official statistics; and
(ii) avoid unnecessary duplication;
(h) endeavour to fulfil the Republic’s international statistical reporting obligations;
(i) liaise with other countries and their statistical agencies and represent Statistics South Africa internationally with regard to statistical matters;
(j) establish and maintain such offices in the provinces as he or she considers necessary, having regard to the needs for official and other statistics for provinces and other organs of state, on condition that—
(i) service-level agreements or memoranda of understanding are entered into between Statistics South Africa and the provinces in question; and
(ii) co-ordination of the statistical activities of the relevant provinces and other organs of state takes place in terms of section 14;
(k) seek to ensure appropriate public awareness of statistical collections and activities.
(3) The Statistician-General may—
(a) as regards the staff of Statistics South Africa—
(i) retain or appoint permanent, temporary and contract staff or terminate their services; and
(ii) determine their terms and conditions of employment, in accordance with the Public Service Act and other applicable law;
(b) in terms of section 14(7), designate statistics produced by Statistics South Africa or other organs of state as official statistics;
(c) accept commissioned statistical work and determine the pricing of that work;
(d) determine the pricing of Statistics South Africa’s services and products;
(e) delegate any power conferred or duty imposed on him or her by this Act, to any other officer of Statistics South Africa, but the Statistician-General—
(i) may impose conditions for such delegation;
(ii) is not by virtue of such delegation divested of that power or duty and may at any time himself or herself exercise that power or perform that duty;
(iii) may vary or set aside any decision made in terms of such delegation;
(f) on the conditions and for the period determined by him or her, establish an advisory committee or committees to advise him or her on any matters pertaining to this Act;
(g) make, by notice in the Gazette, rules relating to—
(i) the returns, information, data and statistics to be furnished and collected in the undertaking of a statistical collection;
(ii) the manner and form in which, the times when and the places where, and the persons to whom and from whom, such statistics must be furnished and collected; and
(iii) any other matter necessary for the effective collection of statistics and the effective functioning of Statistics South Africa.
(4) Any member of an advisory committee appointed in terms of subsection (3)(f) who is not in the full-time employment of the State receives such remuneration and allowances as the Minister of Finance determines.
(5)(a) If the Minister, in prioritising the work programme of Statistics South Africa in terms of section 5(1)(a), rejects the Statistician-General’s recommendation, the Minister and the Statistician-General must endeavour to resolve their disagreement after receiving advice from the Council.
(b) If the Minister and the Statistician-General fail to resolve their disagreement, the Minister makes the final decision and the Statistician-General must implement that
(c) The Statistician-General may make public the fact that the decision is contrary to his or her recommendation.