Stats SA conducts Census 2021 test

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is currently in the field ahead of the Census 2021 new methodologies test.

“Stats SA field workers are currently - in the field mobilising communities to prepare for data collection from selected areas in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape from the 1st to 21st of August 2018 for the Census 2021 New Methodologies Test,” said Stats SA on Tuesday.

The aim of the test is to establish respondents’ preferred method of responding to the census questionnaire since the introduction of new methods of data collection based on advanced technology. This technology will provide respondents with various options of ensuring that they participate in a census.

At the tabling of the National Budget in February, government announced that it has made additional allocations to Stats SA to finance the 2021 Census.

“Additional allocations of R37.1 million in 2018/19, R145.3 million in 2019/20 and R855 million in 2020/21 have been made to Statistics South Africa for the 2021 Census,” said the 2018 Budget Review document.

The Test is one of the various tests that will be conducted in preparation for the Census in 2021.

“The test seeks to enable the organisation measure the state of technological readiness in key areas such as community mobilisation, field training, data collection, field logistics and quality assurance.”

The test is fully technological with three modes of collecting data namely, Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI); Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI); and Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview (CATI).

In the CAPI method or mode the Fieldworker (FW) visits the respondent and conducts a face-to-face interview using a gadget, whereas the CAWI is where the respondent logon internet and completes the questionnaire by him/herself without the assistance of a FW. The CATI mode requires the respondent to complete the questionnaire via telephonic interview by either contacting Stats SA call centre.


Stats SA field staff (field workers, fieldwork supervisors, and district survey coordinators) will be visible in the areas of the three selected provinces as follows:

  • Data Collection Fieldwork: 1st – 31st of August 2018
  • Branded vehicles with a Statistics South Africa logo
  • Fieldworkers will present their identity cards and branded blue over-shirt

Appeal for cooperation

Stats SA appealed to households to welcome field workers.

“We appeal to household members in the selected areas of Waterkloof in the City of Tshwane, Winchester Hills and Norwood in the City of Joburg, Hillcrest and Umhlanga in eThekwini as well as Greenpoint and Muizenburg in the City of Cape Town to welcome our Fieldworkers into your households upon positively identifying themselves,” said Statistician General Risenga Maluleke.

The Statistics Act (No. 6 of 1999) mandates Statistics South Africa to conduct a population census and to also ensure that the data provided by household is kept confidential.

The Act further makes it mandatory for respondents to comply with the organisation’s request for data in order to exercise its role of producing official data for evidence based decision making.

In May, Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said planning for the next population census will commence in 2018/19.

Tabling Stats SA’s budget vote in Parliament, the Minister said conducting a population census is the biggest statistical survey any country and national statistics agency can undertake. –