Minister in the office of the Presidency Jackson Mthembu met the statistician-general Risenga Maluleke and council members after distress signals from StatsSA council chairperson Professor David Everatt who gave the government an ultimatum for funding or face mass resignations as the budget austerity was crippling the parastatal. Photo: Siyabulela Duda/African News Agency (ANA)
Minister in the office of the Presidency Jackson Mthembu met the statistician-general Risenga Maluleke and council members after distress signals from StatsSA council chairperson Professor David Everatt who gave the government an ultimatum for funding or face mass resignations as the budget austerity was crippling the parastatal. Photo: Siyabulela Duda/African News Agency (ANA)

StatsSA begs Tito Mboweni for more cash

By Banele Ginindza Time of article published Feb 24, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) is to lobby Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni and the National Treasury for urgent funding, explaining the risks in the statistical system if it is not boosted with a cash injection and its budget allocation improved, a high-powered urgent meeting resolved on Sunday morning.

The meeting, hosted by the Minister in the office of the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, the statistician-general Risenga Maluleke and council members, followed urgent distress signals from StatsSA council chairperson Professor David Everatt who gave the government an ultimatum for funding or face mass resignations as the budget austerity was crippling the parastatal.

“The outcome was that the minister, the statistician-general and the chairperson of the council would further engage the Minister of Finance and the National Treasury team on the imminent risks in the statistical system should we not urgently address these challenges. 

“The minister, the council and the statistician-general are all in agreement on the need to urgently find a lasting solution to the funding challenges at StatsSA while being cognisant of the tough fiscal conditions the country is faced with,” Mthembu said.

Everatt had pointed out that In 2015, StatsSA had R160 million stripped from its budget and a freeze on all posts was imposed by the government which has had the double-pronged effect of limiting manpower and crucial funds for statistical programmes, including the 2021 census.

Everatt said the organisation was being forced to consider cost-saving cuts because of the hole in its budget, which he said was a problem that in time would lead to wider ranges of error.

“Government is now in danger of damaging the core business of the organisation,” said Everatt recently.

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