Census takers get condoms in case of the hots

2010-10-31 10:41

Census field workers are ­prepared for any eventuality – including having sex with the people they question – when they visit households over two nights in October next year.

Statistics SA has said it will supply its 120?000 Census 2011 field workers with ­condoms in case it gets steamy for enumerators and ­respon­dents while completing the 74 questions on the Sunday and Monday nights.

A similar move prior to the last census in 2001 forced former New National Party leader Gerald Morkel to ­complain to statistician-general Pali Lehohla.

Morkel, who was Western Cape premier at the time, raised his concern about the supply of condoms to enumerators.

He took issue with a senior Stats SA manager who said the pack of condoms was for ­enumerators to use in their personal time.

“It would be good if they had the condoms with them in the event that something happened while they’re visiting a house,” the manager said.

But Morkel differed, claiming that this would discourage people from opening their doors to enumerators and giving their full co-operation.

Morkel insisted he was not criticising “condoms per se” but had received several complaints from the public.

Stats SA’s Trevor Oosterwyk said it was state policy to provide government departments and officials with condoms.

“Consistent with this policy, Stats SA will make condoms available to all field workers,” said Oosterwyk.

If next year’s census is like earlier ones, opportunists and con artists will try to use the census to enrich themselves.

There will be some enterprising crooks with robbery on the agenda who will impersonate enumerators to gain entry into homes.

The Statistics Act states that bogus census enumerators who impersonate Stats SA officials face fines of up to R10 000, six months imprisonment or both.

Lazy enumerators who make false declarations or ask unauthorised and invasive questions will also be guilty of an offence.

And for those on the other side of the census form, it is also an offence to refuse to answer questions or knowingly provide false information.

Results of the census will be available in March 2013.

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