Ramaphosa hails census report as credible despite 31% undercount

todayOctober 11, 2023 75

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the latest census report as credible and of the highest integrity, despite a 31% undercount rate.
The President was reacting to the release of the data by Statistics South Africa.
According to the figures, South Africa’s population now sits at 62 million, an increase from the 51.8 million in 2011.
The Census 2022, however, registered a 31% undercount rate, meaning about a third of people and households in South Africa were not counted.
This is only the fourth census since the first democratic elections following the end of apartheid in 1994. It is also the first in over a decade due to disruptions in data collection caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Ramaphosa says the data contributes to a vast body of knowledge that describes the state and the progress of the nation.
He says inaccurate data can result in inefficiency in the allocation of resources, underestimation of the needs of citizens, poorly planned programmes and poor financial management.
“The data contained in a census is one of the most crucial planning, monitoring and evaluation tools for governments. It informs the planning, budgeting and policymaking work of government at the most fundamental level.”

He praised Stats SA for carrying out its first digital census amid challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 July unrest, amongst others.

“Stats SA was able to undertake our census, just four months after the initial date of October 2021. Adapting to the fluid situation on the ground meant that data collection processes had to be rapidly modernised, as a result this is South Africa’s first ever digital census compiled from data collected from everyone within the borders of the country,” explains Ramaphosa.

What the stats say:
Gauteng remains the most populous province in the country with 15.1 million people followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 12.4 million.
Statistician general, Risenga Maluleke, announced that the Free state and the Northern Cape reported the lowest population sizes at 1.3 million and 2.9 million, respectively.
According to the data agency, Isizulu is the most spoken language in the country, followed by Isixhosa and then Afrikaans.
South Africa’s population has increased from 51.7 million in 2011 to 62 million in 2022, and the government says it is increasingly finding it difficult to provide basic services as a result.
Although more households now have access to piped water, electricity, and ablutions, the services being provided are not reliable as infrastructure deteriorates with the increased number of people being serviced.
The results also show that the female population was 31 948 745, while the male population was 30 078 757 in 2022.

Fifty point five million of South African’s population are black Africans, the white population has declined.

“That is the account for 81.4% of the population. The coloured (population) grew to 5.1 million and account for 8.1% and the white population group accounts for 4.5 million accounting or 7.3% and the Indian/Asian group – 1.7 million accounting for 2.7% and others, those who didn’t specify, at 200 000,” says Maluleke.

The Statistician General says there has been a sharp increase in households in informal settlements from 2021 to 2022 to 88.5%, which also becomes a headache for government to meet the growing demand for services, including electricity and water.

According to Stats SA, Limpopo and Eastern Cape have not improved in access to piped water.

As of February 2022, there were 55 719 homeless people, with most people in Gauteng sitting at (25 384), Western Cape (9 743), and KwaZulu-Natal (7 768). This was mainly due to joblessness.

Statistics South Africa also revealed that there were more than 2.4 million migrants in South Africa last year, with the highest percentage coming from neighbouring Zimbabwe at 45.5%, followed by Mozambique and Lesotho.

“Migration between countries is driven largely by the quest for economic opportunities, political instability and increasingly, environmental hazards,” said Stats SA.

It was also revealed that about 5.2 million young people in the country are not attending school. This is about 200 000 more people aged five to 24 years, who are not attending school compared to 2011.

According to the census numbers, Gauteng has the highest number of young people not going to school, at 1.3-million, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 1 million.

In 2011, the undercount rate was 14.6%, which the Statistician-General at the time, Pali Lehohla, called concerningly high.

Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris

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