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'Next statistician-general must have good understanding of SA landscape'

After 17 years at the helm and 34 years at the organisation, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla will vacate his position in October.

FILE: Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Outgoing Statistician-General Pali Lehohla says Stats SA needs to be given autonomous powers to protect its credibility.

He adds this is needed as statistics tell the story of the efficacy of a state.

After 17 years at the helm and 34 years at the organisation, Lehohla will vacate his position in October.

He says there were some errors during his time at Stats SA, like the misrepresentation of inflation figures in 2003.

But Lehohla says one of his prouder moments started during his time as director of statistics in former homeland Bophuthatswana.

“Those reports I produced in 1985 and 1991 ... those instructions and the instruments are being used currently by Stats SA. They were developed in Bophuthatswana.”

He adds the next statistician-general must have a good understanding of the South African landscape.

“So you need a person who understands the interface of technocracy and politics. But you need, more importantly, the law that ensures that it will regulate and protect this nation’s evolving statistics.”

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)

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