Stats SA mobilises expertise to counsel on Census 2021 delivery, Newsline

PRETORIA – Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has appointed a census national advisory committee (NAC) which will serve as an oversight body to advise the statistician general as he coordinates and oversees the delivery of the country’s digital population count, Census 2021.

The Census 2021 NAC comprises of stakeholders from various entities, including government and private organisations, who will bring on board multi-sector expertise and influence to ensure that the upcoming census undertaking is effective and efficient, Stats SA said in a statement on Sunday.

The appointment of the Census 2021 NAC is the final “puzzle piece” at a national level to initiate advocacy, educational, and community mobilisation initiatives as Stats SA prepared to conduct a census dress rehearsal, the Census 2021 Pilot, early next year. The census pilot would serve as the final preparatory phase for the organisation to conduct the total population count scheduled for October next year.

The committee would be chaired by Nompumelelo Nzimande from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The NAC would not only provide counsel to the organisation on matters Census 2021. It would also assist Stats SA to deliver a historic technology-driven census with improved coverage and response rates. Its role included providing specific advice to the statistician general about the entire census undertaking from the planning, implementation, and dissemination, Stats SA said.

“It is my pleasure to enlist the support of these well distinguished individuals who will bring on board a variety of skills to ensure that Stats SA delivers a successful census,” Statistician General Risenga Maluleke said in the statement.

“Coined the largest mobilisation of society during peace times, the upcoming census will be conducted under difficult circumstances that are defined by the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be with us for some time. We are ready to undertake the census and leave no one behind,” Maluleke said.

Census 2021 is the first population count to rely solely on digital devices to collect information from all people in the country. Fieldworkers will visit different population segments, while the online and telephonic data collection platforms will be availed in specific periods to allow respondents to complete the census questionnaire on their own at no cost to the respondents, Stats SA said.