Census 2011 : Third National Census In October

Stand up to be counted: Census 2011

Johannesburg - South Africans countrywide have been called to participate in Census 2011 - the third national census since the advent of democracy.

The countdown began on Sunday with Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) confident that counting the nation will go smoothly.

Speaking at the launch of the census, Kefiloe Masiteng, the Deputy Director-General for Population and Social Statistics, said the census should be something that the nation is proud of.

Stats SA will deploy 120 000 officials dressed in yellow bibs across the country to document all people, including illegal immigrants and the homeless from 10 to 31 October 2011.

"We will ask you about your access to services such as water, electricity and sanitation. Out of this arsenal of information we will know whether South Africa is making progress or not. We will also know what needs to be done," said Statistician General Pali Lehohla.

As part of Stats SA's preparations for next year's census since the last one was conducted in 2001, a dress rehearsal began on the streets of Pretoria on Saturday.

The rehearsal is scheduled nationwide between 10 and 31 October 2010. The estimated budget for the census of which the results are expected in March 2013 is R2.2 billion. The budget will be used for the payment of enumerators, logistics as well as the 3200 training areas for staff and data processing.

Addressing the issue of ensuring the identification of the 120 000 enumerators, Lehohla said that while the country has security issues, enumerators will be identifiable by their pictures ID numbers and the public will have access to a number whereby they can check their legitimacy.

The enumerators, which are required to hold a matric certificate for consideration, will be appointed in their respective communities to cover over 14 million households, said Project Director Calvin Molongoana.

"We are doing all in our best interest to fine tune our preparations for the census," said Molongoana.

The census will consist of three questionnaires one for households, the other for institutions and the third for people in transit.

In terms of under counting, the Statistician General said that this is an area which is hoped to be reduced.

Planning Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel spoke through a pre-recorded video message at the launch and encouraged all South Africans to participate in the census.

"We need to know what we've achieved. We need to know all issues to take decisions about people's lives. Every person in South Africa counts; this will assist us in planning."

- BuaNews