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Disgruntled Salvokop residents protest at Stats SA demand Census 2022 job opportunities

The Stats SA building in Salvokop. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

The Stats SA building in Salvokop. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 28, 2022


Pretoria - Disgruntled Salvokop residents yesterday staged a protest at the office of Statistics South Africa, unhappy that they were ignored for National Census 2022 job opportunities.

The residents blocked one of the roads leading to the Stats SA offices in the area with refuse and bottles. They wanted to forcefully enter the building.

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They said that they too wanted to be hired, and that they should be prioritised for jobs related to the census, which kicks off next week.

One of the entrance gates had to be locked as a security measure. People from different areas who had gone there for various reasons were also locked out.

Day-to-day operations were disturbed, but things returned to normal after a few hours as the Stats SA team held a meeting with the protesting community members to discuss their concerns.

Stats SA will be conducting a nationwide and housing census from February 3 to 28 in the fourth population count post-democracy and the country’s first digital census.

At least 165 000 fieldworkers will be deployed across the country to count everyone within the borders of South Africa.

The residents said they were angry that people from other areas were recruited instead of Salvokop residents.

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“We all applied but they took people from other areas. What about us who live here? They should start with us. We won’t be counted by people from Mabopane, Soshanguve, Mamelodi and other areas. We don’t want them,” a resident said.

Carolita Kock, one of those who led the protest, said they were told that Stats SA has already recruited six people from Salvokop, but they did not know them.

“Between 20 and 25 of us were here on Tuesday and Wednesday from the morning until late. Our names did not appear in any of the lists, and no one had answers as to why that was the case.”

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Kock said during their meeting they were told that there were areas where Stats SA had yet to appoint people, and they would prioritise Salvokop.

Stats SA spokesperson Trevor Oosterwyk said they were anticipating that similar protests would occur all over the country because of the unemployment crisis.

“Appointments are based on a geo-reference point, and Salvokop is not a big area. There are just too many people who are unemployed and we will only take a maximum of six people from the area,” he explained.

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Oosterwyk also said that they were also calling on residents from the north and eastern suburbs of Pretoria to apply. “There are very few people from those areas who apply, and our aim is to always get people from the area whom many are familiar with to conduct the census.”

Pretoria News

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