Media Statement by Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
The Census 2011 population count will be conducted from 10 to 31 October this year, and I want to encourage all citizens of the Western Cape to support this process and be counted. It is not just about counting all the people, but also recording their living conditions, thereby providing government and the private sector with data on which to base their social and economic development plans and programmes.
South Africa spans 1 219 090 square kilometres, of which the Western Cape covers 129 370 square kilometres. The last Census was conducted 2001 and concluded that 4 524 335 people lived in the Western Cape. Since then, thousands of people continue to migrate to the Western Cape every year, as this province is renowned for extending more opportunities for work, housing, health care and education to people than any other province.
A total of 120 000 enumerators will descend onto South Africa on the morning of the 10th day of the 10th month in the 10th year of the millennium. They will be around until 31 October, after which the post enumeration process kicks in to verify the information gathered during the first phase of the project. This second phase will finish on 15 November and, with the co-operation of all citizens, we hope to make this the most accurate Census to date.
The Western Cape has in the past had the highest percentage of undercounting, ie 36% in the rural areas, as a result of farmers not allowing enumerators onto their land. Strict access control in gated communities have also posed several challenges for the enumerators. We are engaging with the agricultural sector as well as body corporates across the province to address these challenges. With a project of this magnitude, errors are bound to creep in. However, the goal for this census is an undercount of no more than 2%.
If you are not counted, you cannot count on government for assistance, as they cannot plan for those they don't know about. An accurate count of the people in this province will ensure that we get our equitable share of government services and funds.
As one of the ambassadors for Census 2011, I implore you to open your homes to the census field workers and to answer the questionnaires as honestly and accurately as possible. The Western Cape is your province, so do your bit to ensure that we all get our share of South Africa's resources.
For more information, contact 0800 220 250 Tollfree.