Statistics South Africa has confirmed that hundreds of field workers/enumerators contracted to count and obtain crucial information from South Africans in February last year fell victim to crime.
Stats SA officially handed over the 2022 Census Report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings on Tuesday.
Engaging the media, head of the Census Project Office, Luqmaan Omar indicated that 382 incidents from across the country had been reported.
Tablets and devices used to collect the data were stolen from the fieldworkers.
"They were reported (as stolen) and while they (tablets) were not traced, the information stored on them was not compromised," said Omar, adding that their internal security system ensured that.
He emphasised that while the tables stored confidential information, none of the data was lost.
Census 2022 was the first digital census to be conducted by Stats SA, and up to 165,000 staff members were contracted for the project.
Three methods of data collection used in the fourth census included face-to-face interviews, which meant that fieldworkers were required to walk to the allocated locations to collect the data.
Secondly, it included the Computer-assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) and, thirdly, the Computer-Assisted Web Interview (CAWI).
"Use of a multi-mode data collection approach became an advantage in conducting a census in the Covid-19 pandemic environment," said Stats SA.
Meanwhile, over and above challenges surrounding stolen devices, a number of fieldworkers took part in nationwide protests over delays in payments for their work.
But by May 2002, Stats SA highlighted that 90% of workers had been paid and urged those who still had qualms over their salaries to approach their provincial offices.