Stats SA’s undercount

2012-10-31 00:00

IN 2001 it was Rottweilers that kept census collectors at bay.

In 2011, gates and high walls kept them out in KZN, contributing to a 14,5% undercount.

In 2001, it was estimated that one in six people were not counted. Stats SA had said then that children aged 0-4 and “whites with Rottweilers and high walls” may have been left out.

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla acknowledged that Statistics SA had “lost the plot” in 2001, saying then that the double-digit undercount would not be repeated.

And as the 2011 census entered its “mop-up phase” last year,

Lehohla predicted the double-digit undercount would be a thing of the past — after all, South Africa had spent three times more on the census than in 2001.

The 2011 census, however, saw double digit undercounts of 16% in KZN, and over 17% in the Western Cape — the highest undercount.

Provincial executive manager Nthabiseng Makhatha pointed out that KZN was the second largest province and presented an inhospitable terrain compared to other provinces. She said gated communities in KZN and sprawling dwellings on farms in the Western Cape added to the undercount.

Makhatha, however, noted that KZN had registered the largest improvements in terms of the decrease in the undercount with a 4,9 percentage point decrease between 2001 and 2011.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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