Census results likely to be out in September

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pretoria - Results of the 2011 Census are likely to be released at the end of September, Minister in the Presidency for National Planning Trevor Manuel says.

Manuel made the announcement during Statistics South Africa's budget vote on Tuesday in the National Assembly.

South Africa embarked on its third national census since the advent of democracy in October last year. In his visit to the Stats SA's 24-hour data processing centre in Pretoria in December, Manuel expressed satisfaction and confidence in the manner in which the census was conducted.

Manuel said census field operations had been successfully concluded, with over 14 million households visited in 103 000 enumeration areas.

"Stats SA currently is processing the 14 million returns in an operation that continues non-stop, seven days a week. The purpose of having the 1 200 members of staff working shifts to complete this incredible undertaking is to ensure that the data is available for use sooner rather than later," he explained.

It was also important that in completing the task, the quality of the data collected and collated was assured.

The Statistical Council, which has the legal responsibility to manage the quality of statistics produced, has appointed local and international experts to undertake an evaluation. These experts have already received a 5% sample and have already started the evaluation.

Also, as part of the quality assurance process, an independent Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) was conducted, where a representative sample of the country was sampled using a shorter questionnaire.

"The variables of this survey will be compared to the census to assist with the evaluation of any possible under- or over-counting."

Manuel called on Members of Parliament to use the results of the census to hold government accountable.

"Using the census data, you should have proof in terms of numbers to be able to demand better services."

Information about the census will be released using platforms such as social networking sites, the media, electronically and in hardcopy format.

Initially, results were expected to be released in November.