During December last year, Statistics SA announced that “Census Night” will take place on 2 February 2022. Although the collection of data is already in progress, the data will be adjusted to reflect information as it stands at that date. This will be the fourth population count since 1994, the last done in 2011. A census is typically done every 5 years but because of lack of capacity and the effects of COVID-19, a decision was made to delay the process until the above date. Why is it important to conduct a population census? The most important aspect in any society is human capital. Census is important because this process helps compile a numerical profile of South Africa. This in turn informs decision-making at all levels both in government and the private sector. A population census is a total count of the country’s population, where demographic, social and economic information, as well as information about the housing conditions of the people who live in South Africa are gathered. This information could, for example, be applied by the agricultural industry for business planning purposes – if you know the number and spread of your consumers, you will know how to plan for the distribution of your product. What kind of information will be gathered during the census? The short answer is that information about who you are and your living conditions will be collected. Information will be collected to determine the number of people living in SA; who we are in terms of age, sex, education, occupation, economic activity and other important characteristics. Information about where we live in terms of housing, access to water and the availability of essential facilities will also be collected. What guarantee do I have that my information will be kept confidential? According to the Statistics Act of 1999 the Statistician-General must ensure that a census takes place on a regular basis. However, the Act also guarantees strict confidentiality of all information collected for statistical purposes. The Act says “The results of the compilation and analysis of the statistical information collected in terms of this Act may not be published or disseminated in a manner which is likely to enable the identification of a specific individual, business or other organisation.” All Stats SA employees are legally bound, by signing an Oath of Confidentiality, never to disclose any information gathered in the course of their duties. This oath still applies, even after their employment with Stats SA ceases. While Stats SA asks for the respondents’ full names and records physical addresses of the dwellings, this is done only for quality-check purposes. This information is never given out, not even to other government agencies. You are furthermore protected by the Promotion of Access to Information Act and the Constitution. Employees who do not adhere to the Statistics Act could face a fine of R10 000 and/or six months’ imprisonment. Can the Census survey be done on-line? Indeed. Three methods will be use to collect census data namely; Face to face interview – Computer Assisted Personal interview (CAPI), Online – Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) and Telephonic – Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview (CATI). Respondents may register on-line and select the method they prefer to complete the census questionnaire.Registration for households/institutions is now open on https://getcounted.statssa.gov.za Because the census information is so important for local businesses, MafubeBusiness Forum (MBF) would like to encourage respondents to register their households/institutions. For further assistance with registration respondents may contact the Stats SA call centre on 0800 110 248. The registration platform is data free, so you will not be charged for accessing the registration platform.
For assistance, residents, business owners and ratepayers are welcome to visit our offices at 18A Church Street during our business hours, on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays from 08h30 to 12h30, or contact Marina on WhatsApp at 079 145 4295. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org