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Data from the census in October will be used to ensure equity in the distribution of government services and the allocation of state funds.
PEOPLE countrywide are urged to co-operate with enumerators from the 2011 Census, which is scheduled for the evening of 9 and 10 October.


Former Proteas cricketer Makhaya Ntini is the face of Census 2011Former Proteas cricketer Makhaya Ntini is the face of Census 2011 (Photo: GCIS website)This is the third national census to be undertaken since the advent of democracy. It is expected to be the most complex and forms part of the 2010 round of African censuses, which aim to provide comprehensive data for improved future planning.

A census gives authorities an accurate demographic makeup and socio-economic data, without omission or duplication. Apart from individuals, the focus is on collecting data on housing characteristics and services.

In the last census, more than 1 million households were counted in Joburg and a population of 3,2 million people was recorded.

Statistics South Africa says it will cost close to R3-billion to conduct this year’s census successfully. The money will be used to pay more than 120 000 fieldworkers conducting the count, which will cover more than 14 million households around the country. Illegal immigrants and the homeless will also be counted.

The budget will also be used for logistics and to train some 3 200 staff. The fieldworkers will be supported by 30 000 supervisors and about 6 000 administrators, making up a team of 156 000.

The census will consist of three questionnaires – one for households, one for institutions and the third for people who are travelling. The interview to complete the questionnaire should not take longer than 18 minutes per household.

Retired cricketer Makhaya Ntini has been chosen as the ambassador of the census. As part of spreading awareness about the campaign, Ntini will feature in a series of television, radio and billboard advertisements. He will also appear at Census 2011 road shows and at schools to encourage youngsters to participate in sport.

The campaign messages are: “Get ready to be counted” and “2011 is the year of the census”.

“Ntini’s stature, his story of victory over adversity and embracing diversity, and his ready willingness to get the message across to the nation and talk census puts him in good stead to talk sense to South Africa across racial and age groups,” says Pali Lehohla, the statistician-general and head of Statistics South Africa.

The United Nations defines a population census as “the process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing and publishing or otherwise disseminating demographic, economic and social data pertaining, at a specified time, to all persons in a country or a well-defined part of the country”.

The four essential features of the census are:

Individual enumeration;
Universality within the agreed territorial boundaries;
Simultaneity: conducted at the same time for all persons, and
Defined periodicity.
A population census requires all households participate, collecting individual information, conducting a publicity campaign, compiling completed questionnaires and analysing the data, among other things.

Results of the South African census are expected to be released in March 2013. All citizens are expected to participate, because the results will be used to ensure equity in the distribution of government services and the allocation of state funds.

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