50-Day countdown to Census

50-Day countdown to Census

South African President Jacob Zuma launched Census 2011 and called upon the nation to participate in the upcoming national effort to count everybody within the borders of South Africa. "There is no other resource which provides a comprehensive picture of South Africa`s population and our households as does the census data," said president Zuma at the Union Buildings today.

"We need to know and understand so that we can plan, implement, monitor and evaluate outcomes of our development endeavours," added the president. Statistics South Africa will conduct the country`s third population and housing census from 10th to 31st October. From October 10th, the enumerators will go from house to house spending about 40 minutes per household asking about 75 questions contained in the Census 2011 questionnaire.

A census wants demographic data, the statistics on number, the distribution, and characteristics of people living within the borders of South Africa. Minister in the Presidency: National Planning Commission Trevor Manuel also handed the president a gazette; formally declaring census day. Census 2011 comes 10 years after Census 2001 and according to the findings of Census 2001, and data show how far South Africa progressed in terms of service delivery.

For instance whilst in 1996 access to electricity was 58% by 2001 70% of South African households had access to electricity and the Community Survey placed access to 80%. Census 1996 put South Africa`s population size at 40.5 million and by 2001 this number had risen to 44.8 million people living within our borders. "So Census 2011 will present us with another opportunity to understand how far we have gone and what challenges including new ones need to be attended. The Millennium Development Goals Statistics South Africa your leading partner in quality statistics.

(MDGs) report is four years away and Census 2011 should inform us how we are marching on this road in comparison with other countries, "said Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Statistics South Africa has been hard at work recruiting, training and deploying thousands of employees into the field for purposes of executing the census. Five and a half thousand field work supervisors have been deployed and currently thirty thousand supervisors are being trained and in another two weeks another wave of 120 000 enumerators will be trained in preparation for the 10th of October.

A lot of preparation has gone into this task and we call on all residents of South Africa to get ready for the 10th of October 2011 when the great counting starts. "This great count will enable policymakers to enrich our response to the challenges of the South Africa I know, the home I understand," said Lehohla.

Issued by Statistics South Africa

Numbers and Reporting