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Stats SA is going all out to advertise Census 2011, when every South African will be counted. The information gathered is important for state planning.
THERE are less than a 100 days before the 2011 Census and people countrywide have been urged to “Get ready to be counted” on 9 and 10 October.


Former Proteas cricketer Makhaya Ntini is the face of Census 2011 (Photo: GCIS website)Former Proteas cricketer Makhaya Ntini is the face of Census 2011 (Photo: GCIS website)Statistics South Africa, which runs the census, said it would finalise the hiring of about 120 000 fieldworkers, who would conduct the count, by the end of July. It will cost approximately R2-billion to complete the census.

All South Africans, including homeless people and those living in informal settlements, will be documented. “The census is important for planning because we need to understand the changes that are going on. Under-counting can be a serious problem,” said Pali Lehohla, the statistician-general at Stats SA.

There will be three questionnaires – one for households, one for institutions and the third for itinerant people. The interview to complete the questionnaire should not take longer than 45 minutes per household. “This year we have planned differently. All the funding plans are in place and our questionnaires are ready. We already have 192 000 enumerators on our databases and we are busy with security checks,” Lehohla said.

This is the third national census to be undertaken since 1994. 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. Results of the South African census are expected to be released in March 2013.

A census gives authorities accurate demographic and socio-economic data. Apart from individuals, the focus is on collecting data on housing characteristics and services.

Everyone must be counted because the results of the census are used to ensure government services and state funds are distributed equitably. “We are calling on everybody, captains of industry, trade unions and policy makers, to rally round Census 2011,” said Lehohla.

Stats SA is running an extensive advertising campaign to promote the census, and it will visit schools, advertise on radio and television, at public areas and events, in malls and at other social gatherings to emphasise its importance.

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