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Govt, Stats SA encourage South Africans to participate in census


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Govt, Stats SA encourage South Africans to participate in census

17th February 2022

By: Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


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Government and Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) are encouraging anyone within the borders of South Africa to cooperate with census field workers and representatives as Stats SA performs the 2022 census.

Stats SA conducts major censuses on the population of South Africa every ten years.


Deputy Minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya says it is important that government galvanises South African society, as a whole, to rally behind the national census. “For us, it is important that we offer the support to Statistics SA so that the field workers they have appointed can do their work.”

She adds that Stats SA is compelled by law to undertake national censuses on a regular and consistent basis. “Everybody in the borders of South Africa must be enumerated . . . everybody in South Africa needs to be counted.”


Irrespective of race, nationality and legality, Siweya says every person in South Africa needs to be counted.

Prior to closing its online registration and self-enumeration platform, Stats SA offered three methods for people in South Africa to be counted, including by telephonic questioning and in-person questioning with a physical Stats SA representative.

Stats SA fieldworkers will be on South African streets until March.

Information provided through the census is important to government for short- and long-term planning, budgeting and to provide a means to “self-reflect” to determine whether it is giving certain “area[s]” of the population more attention than others, as well as pointing government to areas where it can improve services, she says.

“Universities are [also] interested in this data [as it can] assist them with research, through planning, and contribution to the broader thinking of how we can develop our country,” Siweya adds.

Stats SA statistician general Risenga Maluleke says this year’s census is the “biggest mobilisation” South Africa has undertaken during a time of peace, other than elections.

In terms of protecting participants’ personal information, he says Stats SA has engaged with the Information Regulator, which “has been satisfied that Stats SA has since time immemorial upheld the confidentiality of members of the public”.

“Not only that, [but] we still adhere to the prescript of the Protection of Personal Information Act in terms of ensuring that the information we collect is not passed to any third party,” says Maluleke.


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