Census - stand up and be counted

2011-03-06 17:46

Johannesburg - Cricket icon Makhaya Ntini would stand at traffic lights and visit schools to promote Census 2011 as its official ambassador, he said on Sunday.

"This is the year of the census... I will hand out T-shirts and visit schools so that it is easier for the [enumerators] to approach parents to be counted," he said.

Ntini was speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg to launch the awareness campaign for Census 2011.

Ntini said he "knows the reality of rural areas in South Africa and how people living there do not have much involvement in what is going on in the country".

"We need to know how many people there are in the country so we can improve things like schools and their facilities."

Everyone must be counted

Project director for the census, Calvin Molongoana, said 6 000 field work co-ordinators would begin the pre-enumeration work on April 1.

Following that, 120 000 enumerators would start their door-to-door count.

"The door-to-door work will begin on October 9 and end on October 31.

"Then 30 000 supervisors will begin the 'mop up' work, checking that all the questionnaires are in".

Pali Lehohla, head of Statistics South Africa, said the budget for the census was approximately R3.8bn.

He called for South Africans to "lock up their dogs in the back and unlock their doors" so that everyone could be counted.

He said this year's census aimed to drop the under-counting of citizens from 17% in the 2001 census to two percent.

Deputy director-general of population and social statistics for Statistics South Africa, Kefiloe Masiteng, said the census was necessary to judge "how the allocation of resources should be done in the country".

"For example we need to be able to see if a school needs to be built, what the living conditions of the people are, what the fertility and mortality rates are, what the migrations statistics are," Masiteng said.

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