Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will give concerted focus to completing its work with regards to the national census over the 2022/23 financial year.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said this when he presented the budget vote speech for the agency in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
Gungubele tabled a R2.8 billion budget plan for Stats SA and indicated that the agency has received an additional allocation of:
R132 million over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period to fill critical vacancies that has been vacant since October 2016.
R206 million over the MTEF period to conduct the Income and Expenditure Survey.
R105 million for 2022/23 for the post enumeration survey and other census activities.
“In the 2022/23 financial year, we will focus our efforts on the processing and analysis of the census data. A post enumeration survey will be conducted in June 2022 to assess the over and/or undercount of the census. This has been a difficult census and all things being equal, the organisation will report the results to the nation next year this time.
“We are now at the tail-end of data collection for Census 2022. To date, we have completed the census count for eight of the nine provinces. We are currently wrapping-up our census collection activities in the Western Cape,” he said.
Gungubele said in addition to this, more than 200 releases are planned for the financial year.
“[The] economic statistics programme will continue to deliver key national economic indicators by publishing 228 statistical releases and reports in line with international statistical standards.
“The population and social statistics programme will continue to deliver key national socio-economic indicators by publishing 48 statistical releases and reports in 2022/23 in line with international statistical standards and practices,” he said.
The minister reflected that although fiscal constraints continue to hinder government’s purse due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, government remains committed to “fully funding” the agency.
“We have often spoken about the constraints imposed by the pandemic on the production of statistics. We have seen this impediment affecting national statistics agencies across the globe.
“We recognise the importance of fully funding the statistical function in the country and engagements with National Treasury are continuous to ensure that challenges are addressed.
“We are all patently aware that at this moment in the life of this nation reliable and trustworthy data, statistics and information are critical so that as policy-makers we can take decisions that will not just shape our tomorrow but also impact positively on the lives of generations to come,” he said.