Stats SA suspends data collection operations

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) ability to publish official statistics will be impacted by the lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Statistician General Risenga Maluleke has said.

This comes after President Ramaphosa on Monday announced a national lockdown for the next 21 days in an effort to limit and curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

The lockdown will see only personnel in sectors providing essential services not restricted during this period.

It is for this reason that data collection for both economic and household surveys will not be possible, Maluleke said in a statement.

“As the lockdown goes into effect at midnight on 26 March 2020, economic and social releases scheduled for March have been brought forward to that date,” said Stats SA.

The lockdown will result in changes to data collection agency scheduled release calendar for April.

Stats SA said it would communicate in detail any data quality related issues as they arise.

“On the social statistics side, the current pandemic will not impact on the March to May releases as this fieldwork has already been completed. Data collection for all household surveys and some economic statistics may be affected if the lockdown is extended and we are unable to collect data,” read the statement.

“This lockdown is uncharted territory for all of us,” said Maluleke. “In a country with a population as vulnerable as ours, it is important that we all cooperate with our Commander-in-Chief’s call to stay home and protect each other from this virus.”

“Stats SA understands the importance of producing reliable and accurate statistics for the country, especially in light of the need to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and society. Once the lockdown has been lifted, we will once again take up the task of data collection.”

“I wish to pay special thanks to our respondents and users for their understanding.” –


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