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Stats SA vows to conduct 2021 census ‘even in state of difficulty’

Postponing the census was not an option that statistician general Risenga Maluleke even wanted to contemplate at this point.

FILE: Statistician General Risenga Maluleke. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Stats SA has committed to doing everything in its power to ensure that the 2021 census is carried out in the coming months - this as COVID-19 infections worsen in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The once in a decade count is the most important measure of the country’s human capital as it helps to compile a numerical profile and other demographics including social and economic information.

But the pandemic threatens to thwart Stats SA’s plans, which have been under way for years in preparation for the critical task ahead.

Postponing the census was not an option that statistician general Risenga Maluleke even wanted to contemplate at this point.

On Thursday, he told Eyewitness News that while their plans would be adjusted as and when required based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, they would do everything possible to carry out the work.

“Even in a state of difficulty, going forward we must conduct the census. The country will need to know what its population is and what the people are doing. Actually, this is the time that information is needed the most.”

Stats SA has already begun its recruitment campaign in anticipation of the census pilot, advertising posts for data collectors, fieldwork and data processors among others.

The census will require in-contact data collection between Stats SA officials and members of the public unlike other surveys, which can be carried out electronically.

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