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Warning issued as Stats SA field workers deployed for census

Statistician general of South Africa, Risenga Maluleke. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Statistician general of South Africa, Risenga Maluleke. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Aug 13, 2021


Statistics South Africa, who have deployed field workers to collect data for the pilot census, have warned the public about imposters.

Stats SA urged citizens to rather use the online field worker verification system in a bid to avoid criminals posing as field workers.

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According to Stats SA, its employees wear branded bibs, have Stats SA ID cards, and will have a letter introducing themselves and the survey. The census team will visit sampled households in seven provinces, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape until August 31, 2021.

On Thursday Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke explained that sampled households would be visited to complete the census questionnaire as the last leg of the pilot phase, which started with remote data collection via online and telephonic methods during the alert level 4 lockdown.

Maluleke said remote data collection was recently concluded, however respondents may continue to register their households to update the geo-frame as they prepared for the total count of the population.

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According to information on Stats SA’s website, the full census would be conducted in October. Stats SA has the responsibility of ensuring that data is made available to advance planning and decision-making, despite the challenging conditions.

“Conducting the census is one of the crucial steps toward the full population count. There needs to be a balance of carrying out the task while ensuring the safety of fieldworkers and respondents. As such, fieldworkers are being deployed in line with adjusted Covid-19 lockdown level 3,” said Maluleke.

He said that the organisation was forced to suspend all face-to-face fieldwork activities when the country went into Alert Level 4 Lockdown on June 28, 2021, but continued with the testing of remote data collection methods, namely Computer-Assisted Web Interview and Computer-Assisted Telephonic Interview, for the Pilot Census.

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“Stats SA is aware that criminal elements may try to take advantage of this project to conduct illegal activities. They can check the online field worker verification system on the website or contact the call centre at 0800 110 248 (toll free) or telephone their nearest provincial or district office.”

A census is a total count of the population; it also collects information on socio-economic aspects such as employment and access to basic services. Stats SA urges all households to co-operate with fieldworkers.

The census in 2016 showed that SA’s population stood at 55.6 million, up from 51.7 million in 2011.

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It also revealed that 59% of the population were female, while 46% were male, and that 83.5% of the population had access to water, while 90.3% had access to electricity.

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