Census counters need your co-operation

2011-10-10 00:00

THE country’s third post-apartheid Census 2011 began yesterday — enumerators will make sure that everyone living on the streets or in transit such as truck drivers or hotel dwellers are counted.

The big door-to-door counting only starts today.

KwaZulu-Natal Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) Statistical Support and Informatics Manager, Helen North, told The Witness that their number one plea is that householders co-operate and treat the numerators “respectfully as they carry out a difficult task and give accurate information”.

Stats SA said that while they are ready to roll out the R5 billion census, they are expecting resistance from certain groups.

North told The Witness that usually high income groups, informal settlements dwellers and illegal immigrants are hard to count.

“High earners don’t feel they’re obliged to participate or give out information. Some people are very concerned about security which is understandable, but some groups still refuse to participate even when their concerns are addressed,” she added.

Farmers also fall in the “hard-to-count” category. In KZN there is an estimated two million households that are expected to be visited by October 31.

Incidents like dog bites, car accidents, and inclement weather conditions might hinder enumerators’ work.

She told The Witness that on the arrival of the enumerator, a household may invite the person in or choose a suitable location to fill in the questionnaire that takes roughly 45 minutes to complete. An enumerator will carry an ID card, enumerator booklet (large A3 book with households listed and a map on the front) and questionnaires and will definitely not be in possession of any “devices” as it has been reported in a viral email recently.

“After completing the confidential questionnaire, the enumerator will then hand it over to the co-ordinator, who will send it to Pretoria where it will be scanned and processed into electronic data.

Once all the data has been captured and processed it will then be released simultaneously to the government and nation,” said North.

To confirm the legitimacy of the officials call 080 011 0248.

“It’s everyone’s right to be counted. If you do not participate the number will not be a true reflection of the South African population. If you don’t provide accurate information the effectiveness of planning and policy making will be compromised,” North warned.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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