Briefing by Statistician-General on the CENSUS 2022 results; with Deputy Minister

Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

27 October 2023
Chairperson: Mr R Dyantyi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

In a virtual meeting, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) briefed the Portfolio Committee on the 2022 census results. The Deputy Minister in the Presidency was in attendance.

The 2022 census was 100% digitalised.

South Africa’s population on 2 February 2022 was 62 027 503 (up from 51.8 million in 2011). The population had increased by 19.8% from 2011 to 2022. Gauteng had the largest population of 15.1 million, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with a population of 12.4 million, and the Western Cape with a population of 7.4 million.

At 81.4%, the Black African population group constituted the largest proportion of South Africa’s population, followed by Coloured at 8.2%, White at 7.3%, and Indian/Asian at 2.7%.

The total net undercount rate for persons was 31.06% and 30.39% for households. The Western Cape had the biggest net undercount rate for persons at 35.58%, followed by Mpumalanga at 35.26%, and KwaZulu-Natal at 34.67%.

Between 2011 and 2022, Gauteng received a net amount of almost 400 000 persons moving into the province. The top five sending countries were Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi, and the United Kingdom/Great Britain, and they remained the same in 2011 and 2022 and represented more than 85% of all migrants in 2022.

There were 17.8 million households in Census 2022 (up from 14.4 million in 2011 and 9.1 million in 1996), an increase of 23.4% from 2011. Households that resided in formal dwellings increased sharply from 65.1% in 1996 to 88.5% in 2022. Access to electricity for lighting in South Africa went from 58.1% in 1996 to 94.7% in 2022. The Emadlangeni municipality was the only municipality with less than 80% of households having access to electricity for lighting. In 2022, over four-fifths (82.4%) of households in the country had access to piped water either inside their dwelling or inside their yard. There remained a sizeable proportion of households in Limpopo (20.5%) and Eastern Cape (19.5%) with no access to piped water. Over the period 1996-2022, the percentage of households with no access to piped water halved (from 19.7% to 8.7%). One in five households in Limpopo had no access to piped water. Households that resided in Western Cape (93,9%) and Gauteng (89,7%) had greater access to flushing toilets. Most households reported agricultural activity for their consumption.

The 2022 census obtained an unqualified audit opinion with findings on compliance with laws and regulations. The emphasis of matters was on unauthorised expenditure and irregular expenditure. Material findings were made on expenditure management, procurement and contract management and consequence management.

Stats SA had a shortfall of applicants in some areas. Over 100 000 field staff were deployed during the count. Additional interventions were made in some provinces due to dropouts and resignations.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the availability of rental vehicles.

Some provinces had experienced high refusal and nonresponse rates.

The Committee noted that Stats SA was resilient in carrying out its duties during the pandemic, lockdown restrictions, civil unrest, and natural disasters. It had still achieved positive results and conducted the census even though it was difficult to complete.

Members found it concerning that almost 30 years into democracy, certain areas were “no-go areas” for some population groups. It was determined that Parliament would need to debate on the matter to bridge the gap to promote and create social cohesion for every South African to be accepted anywhere in the country.

The Committee accepted the explanation behind the R825 million over-expenditure made sense, but questioned Stats SA on actions that could be taken to reduce the amount.

Members were critical of the undercount of 31%, with the reason for the undercount not communicated.

The Committee asked whether the census information was stored on government’s infrastructure or offshore. How was the data protected? Looking at the function performed by Stats SA, were there any plans to position Stats SA as a central source of critical data for the government? 

The Committee noted concerns about the environmental risks some of the enumerators faced. Going forward, what measures would be implemented to ensure that enumerators were not exposed to any risks and occupational hazards while carrying out their duties?

There was a heated exchange between the Committee regarding the use of the term “Black Africans” to capture data. A Member argued that continuing to use the term “Black Africans” undermined the South African law.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks

The Chairperson said the meeting was scheduled after the Statistician-General (SG) had informed the Committee that the 2022 census results would be released on 10 October 2022. To fully engage with the results released, the Committee decided to hold a briefing session with Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The Committee would receive the comprehensive presentation on the census 2022 results and the SG would brief the Committee accordingly.

Deputy Minister Opening Remarks

The Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Nomasonto Motaung, said it was a privilege to present the census 2022 results to the Committee.

She said Stats SA was a South African national agency regulated by the Statistics Act, no.6 of 1999, in terms of Section 7(2)(a) which stated that the SG must cause a population census to be taken in the year 2001 and every five years thereafter, on a date determined by the Minister by notice in the Gazette, unless the Minister, on the advice of the SG and by notice in the Gazette, determined otherwise. Section 13(1) of the said Act stated that the council must advise the Minister, the SG or an organ of state which produced statistics concerning any matter regarding the collection, processing, analysis, documentation, storage, and dissemination of statistics, including the taking of a population census, which should, in the opinion of the council, be studied or undertaken.

Following the independent analysis of the census data by the Statistics Council, which advised the Minister, SG, and the nation on the launch of the census results, the census data was considered fit for use.

The meeting aimed to account for the census process undertaken in the previous five years and the over-expenditure incurred. The census results, which were released by the SG and presented to the President and the nation on 10 October 2023, would also be shared.

The importance of the statistics produced by the national census could not be emphasised enough. The national census was the biggest undertaking in the country which touched every household and every person living within the borders of South Africa. The national census was the baseline information set for the country at all geographical levels and it was the only data source for demographical information. It formed the basis for key decisions on the distribution of revenue in the country. It assisted government, businesses, and society with deciding where to build new schools, towns, roads, and hospitals and where service delivery (i.e., the provision of water and electricity etc.) required improvements. The census results assisted in understanding whether the established decisions and policies benefited the nation. Thus, the results needed to be used to hold the government accountable for the state of the nation. The census 2022 journey had not been easy. The planning and design phases were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters during the data collection phase, inevitably leading to the extension of the field workers’ activities. The difficult environment has forced Stats SA to innovate many aspects of its operations. Key strategic and business decisions had to be made at important stages of the census to ensure that Stats SA was able to provide the necessary evidence to the public.

Stats SA assured the Committee that it had left no stone unturned to ensure the census was successful. Stats SA engaged closely with the National Treasury (NT) on its financial status and the expenditure incurred for the census activities.

Brieifng by Statistics South Africa

The Chairperson welcomed the SG and said the Committee had received his apology in the previous meeting for a bereavement in his family and hoped that the burial proceedings had progressed seamlessly.

As the national census was not a regular Committee engagement, the issues faced needed to be clearly outlined. He said the presentation should focus on the challenges faced, the results, and how the country would utilise the information.

Mr Risenga Maluleke, Statistician-General of South Africa and head of Stats SA, said the purpose of the national census was to count everyone within the borders of South Africa without omission and duplication. Stats SA recognised a household as people who shared resources, which was marked by looking at people cooking from the same pot. It was worth noting that those people may not necessarily be blood relatives. In the past, access to water and electricity had been used as a household marker but recently, people could pull electricity from the same point but cook from different pots.

A national census was initially conducted in 1996 and the Statistics Act, no.6 of 1999, established that a national census should be conducted every five years. Due to the nation's other priorities, South Africa did not have the funds to conduct the national census every five years. Thus, after the 2001 national census, the Statistics Council informed the Minister and the SG about the challenges that would arise if the necessary funds to conduct the census were not allocated. The cabinet ultimately decided to conduct the census every ten years. In between the censuses, a large-scale sample survey, called the Community Survey (CS), had been conducted in 2007 and 2016 because a decade was a long period to wait to conduct a census. The CS conducted in 2007 showed that South Africa had 284 000 households which was sufficient to give Stats SA an estimate at the national level. The CS conducted in 2011 showed that South Africa had 1.5 million households which was approximately five times higher than the results in the CS conducted in 2007. The CS was an alternative tool to provide information for planning purposes. A national census was supposed to be conducted in 2021 but had not occurred.

The 2022 census was 100% digital with multiple options for data collection including being face-to-face through Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI), telephonic through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) and web-based through Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI). Stats SA used technology and geospatial information to provide a much faster, more efficient, and better quality product. Stats SA had introduced an Enumeration Area (EA) which was a manageable workload for one enumerator. Each EA had between 100 and 150 dwelling units. In total, Stats SA had to reach 15.8 million address points.

Highlighting the CAWI results, he said the online interviewing uptake was not as much as expected. About 33% of registered individuals undertook the CAWI in the initial uptake. Recent results showed that 80% of people who accessed the link completed a questionnaire. Approximately 400 000 questionnaires were completed online.

The CAPI collection showed much better rates of completion. Over 20 million questionnaires have been received to date. The data collection “mop-up” was concluded on 31 May 2022 to allow fieldworkers to reach as many households as possible.

The CATI was utilised for about 68 000 households who elected to be counted. By 31 May 2022, all provinces except the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, North West, and Northern Cape had a data collection progress above 90%. The Western Cape had the lowest data collection progress of 73%.

The 2022 census planning was started in March 2017. By February 2019, the census Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) had requested R3.35 billion from the NT but was allocated R3.15 billion for census 2022. Nearly R1.5 billion was spent on recruiting contract field workers. The census was allocated R419 million in 1996, – R987 million in 2001, and R3,2 billion in 2011. The estimated census 2011 costing baseline with a 5% inflation gave rise to R 6,6 billion in 2022 if the traditional method was used. The census cost per capita, for example, the cost to enumerate each person, was R10.32 in 1996, R22.02 in 2001, R61.81 in 2011 and R64.08 in 2022. In the 2022/2023 financial year, Stats SA incurred an over-expenditure of approximately R825 million. In the 2023/2024 financial year, Stats SA incurred an expenditure of R38 million for dissemination purposes. The COVID-19 pandemic had been the biggest disruptor when planning the 2022 census, but the census could not be postponed to 2031 or 2032.

A rollover request for the 2021/2022 financial year was made with NT which communicated that it could not grant two rollovers on the same project. The first rollover was affected by the pandemic and thus, the global value chain for the supply of gadgets was disrupted, leading to global delays. When the gadgets were delivered and the pandemic persisted, Stats SA requested NT to delay the census until the pandemic was over. NT communicated that it could not authorise two rollovers on the same project. If Stats SA did not proceed with the census, NT would fund the census from scratch in the next ten years. Stats SA decided to continue with the census. Stats SA made a submission to the Minister’s Committee on the Budget (MINCOMBUD) for an Unforeseeable and Unavoidable (U&U) funding request, but a negative response was obtained. Stats SA thus reprioritised through internal cost containment measures in 2022/2023 and attained R69 million which was insignificant.

South Africa’s population on 2 February 2022 was 62 027 503 (62 million; up from 51.8 million in 2011). The population had increased by 19.8% from 2011 to 2022. Gauteng had the largest population of 15.1 million followed by KwaZulu-Natal with a population of 12.4 million and the Western Cape with a population of 7.4 million. At 81.4%, the Black African population group constituted the largest proportion of SA’s population, followed by Coloured at 8.2%, White at 7.3% and Indian/Asian at 2.7%. The total net undercount rate for persons was 31.06% and 30.39% for households. The Western Cape had the biggest net undercount rate for persons at 35.58% followed by Mpumalanga at 35.26% and KwaZulu-Natal at 34.67%.

About 61.2% of South Africa’s population was under 35 years old and South Africa’s median age was 28 years. Between 2011 and 2022, Gauteng received a net amount of almost 400 000 persons moving into the province. The top five sending countries – Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi and the United Kingdom/Great Britain – remained the same in 2011 and 2022 and represented more than 85% of all migrants in 2022.

Six out of ten children aged zero to four years had access to some form of Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme. Children in the Western Cape and Gauteng were more likely to participate in ECDs and Those in the Northern Cape and North West were likelier to not participate in ECDs. The percentage of persons aged 20 years and older who completed secondary education had more than doubled from 16.3% in 1996 to 37.6% in 2022. The prevalence of disability declined from 7.4% to 6.0% between 2011 and 2022.

There were 17.8 million households in Census 2022 (14.4 million in 2011 and 9.1 million in 1996) – an increase of 23.4% from 2011. Households that resided in formal dwellings increased sharply from 65.1% in 1996 to 88.5% in 2022. Access to electricity for lighting in South Africa went from 58.1% in 1996 to 94.7% in 2022. The Emadlangeni municipality was the only municipality with less than 80% of households having access to electricity for lighting. In 2022, over four-fifths (82.4%) of households in the country had access to piped water either inside their dwelling or inside their yard. There remained a sizeable proportion of households in Limpopo (20.5%) and Eastern Cape (19.5%) with no access to piped water. Over the period 1996-2022, the percentage of households with no access to piped water halved (from 19.7% to 8.7%). One in five households in Limpopo had no access to piped water. Households that resided in Western Cape (93,9%) and Gauteng (89,7%) had greater access to flushing toilets. Most households reported agricultural activity for their consumption.

The 2022 census obtained an unqualified audit opinion with findings on compliance with laws and regulations. The opinion covered the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 financial years. The emphasis of matters was on unauthorised expenditure and irregular expenditure. Material findings were made on expenditure management, procurement and contract management, and consequence management.

In highlighting the challenges faced, he said there was a shortfall of applicants in some areas. Over 100 000 field staff were deployed during the count. Additional interventions were made in some provinces due to dropouts and resignations. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the availability of rental vehicles. A revised strategy for dealing with areas without cars was implemented. Some provinces experienced high refusal and nonresponse rates. Various interventions were made but an enhanced advocacy campaign needed to be sustained for the next census.

Stats SA planned to contribute significantly to the economy by donating 139 000 tablets to schools in the Provincial Departments of Education, amounting to R597 million, making it a noteworthy contribution. Stats SA confirmed the census results had been released and were credible and therefore the state and the country had the right information to plan for the next decade.

[See the presentation for further details]


Mr K Pillay (ANC) commended Stats SA for its work. The presentation showed that Stats SA faced various challenges while conducting the census and South Africa and the rest of the world would continue to speak about the various difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stats SA was resilient in carrying out its duties during the pandemic, lockdown restrictions, civil unrest, and natural disasters (i.e., floods) and still achieved positive results and conducted the census even though it was difficult to complete. He commended Stats SA for its in-depth presentation on the outcomes of the census. The census would assist the country to plan accordingly in the future.

It was concerning that, almost 30 years into democracy, certain areas were “no-go areas” for some population groups. Parliament would need to debate on the matter to bridge the gap to promote and create social cohesion for every South African to be accepted anywhere in the country. South Africa belonged to all who lived in it.

He asked what the impact of utilising digital platforms compared to the traditional method of using manual questionnaires was. Did Stats SA estimate the population size before the population census and was there a significant deviation from its projections?

While the explanation behind the R825 million over-expenditure made sense, was there anything that could be done to reduce the amount? During the census, Stats SA might have identified certain risks it was previously not aware of. How would those risks be mitigated in the future?

How and when would Stats SA filter the information and provide it to the different Ministers, provinces and municipalities to readily use the information available to plan accordingly?

How would Stats SA assist the Emadlangeni municipality which did not have access to electricity? Contrary to the comments in the public domain, government was delivering services, which was commendable because only one municipality in the entire country did not have access to electricity, which showed that the government was working and providing services to the public. The access to electricity and water has far exceeded the previously reported figure and it was important to report the improvement. The actual data presented showed that the government was delivering services to the public.

Was the undercount on the enumerated households included in the final population count released?

Mr J McGluwa (DA) said accurate data was very important. One of the endeavours of Stats SA was to count everyone within the borders of South Africa without any omission or duplication. He was not about to sing praises to government but would make reality-based inputs on the undercount. Undercounts and inaccurate data had the potential to hinder the census process. The presentation could have indicated how Stats SA was going to use disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic as a catalyst for bringing change in the next population census in the future. Stats SA must have the ability to control the undercount. Could the undercount results per province and demographic be provided? The presentation stated that the Northern Cape had the lowest population size. Could Stats SA explain why the North West, Limpopo and Free State provinces had a population size 10% less than the undercount of the Northern Cape? A spade needed to be called a spade because the undercount of 31% was nothing to be proud of and the reason for the undercount was not communicated. People had been seen moving around during and after the pandemic and amid natural disasters and thus he was tempted to say that the results were unreliable because the undercount of 31% was unaccounted for.

While the census data was unique, how would the information be used to rectify problems?

Could Stats SA provide a breakdown of the field worker dropouts per province and the corresponding reasons? The Committee was aware that the field workers were not paid at times. Could Stats SA provide the demographic of the people who refused to participate in the population census? It was previously stated that undercounts were very high amongst Coloureds, Indians, and Whites.

An amount of R1.5 billion was used for the employment of field workers to do their jobs. Despite the challenges faced, like undercounting, field workers were not let go. An investigation was required with particular reference to the Northern Cape undercount of 31% and the population size of the North West, Limpopo, and the Free State which was 10% less than the undercount of the Northern Cape.

Mr B Yabo (ANC) asked about the storage information of the census data. Was the census information stored on government’s infrastructure or was it stored offshore? How was the data protected? Looking at the function performed by Stats SA, were there any plans to position Stats SA as a central source of critical data for the government? South Africa had a lot of data centres. For example, the Department of Health (DOH) stored health-related data and the correctional services, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the court system stored data related to the administration of justice. Perhaps the government should have a “one-stop shop” where data was stored, and Stats SA could assist in that regard as it was responsible for enumerating and producing untainted data. Were there plans for Stats SA to store data from various departments, including data on all persons? However, that might be disputed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) as it was probably more suited to handle information related to individuals.

The presentation showed field workers crossing a seemingly unsafe river, raising questions about the logistical safety of the field workers and the mode of transport they used to access remote areas. Due to the nature of the census project, labour laws would apply to ensure the safety of Stats SA’s employees. Going forward, what measures would be taken to ensure that enumerators were not exposed to any risks and occupational hazards while carrying out their duties?

What was the average age group of the field workers? What were the selection criteria for the field workers?

The Committee had been in Parliament on the previous day, passing the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (B2-2022). The Committee’s experience on the public engagement on the Bill exposed underlying issues within the society. The rainbow nation dream was a dream indeed. The Western Cape’s census results showed that the demographic of the enumerators dictated whether they obtained access in certain areas for enumeration purposes. That signalled that South Africa had bigger problems than it could have imagined on the social cohesion project and building a patriotic nation that did not consider race, colour or gender but appreciated each other as South Africans. It would be concerning if one of the reasons behind undercounting was the restriction of access to certain communities. The government needed to start a process to realise a rainbow nation because it was unacceptable that after 29 years of democracy, people were still living in the horror of the past in nuanced ways.

What plans were established to reduce the potential rise in costs in the next census? While the estimate for census 2022 was R6.6 billion, R3.2 billion had been spent, resulting in a saving of R3.4 billion. The saved amount was appreciated in light of the expected austerity measures. How would Stats SA mitigate the future rises in costs on several high-expenditure items that made up the success of the census project?

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) said the 2022 census showed an increase in the population growth rates from the previous censuses. The censuses showed the following growth rates in the respective years: 10.5% in 2001, 15% in 2011 and approximately 20% in 2022. The previously released information showed that the South African birth rate declined over the past seven to ten years. Did immigration cause the population growth?

Mr M Manyi (EFF) welcomed the detailed report.

He asked whether Stats SA could provide more information on the nature of the devices it referred to as gadgets. Were the enumerators able to charge the gadgets in the areas they worked in?

The SG should refer to the Employment Equity Act, No. 55 of 1998, which referred to how Parliament resolved the matter on the use of the phrase “Black Africans”. Seemingly, the SG did not want to take Parliament’s guidance because the Employment Equity Act was an Act passed by Parliament which stated that the term “Blacks” referred to Africans, Coloureds, and Indians. The SG was doing “his own thing” and came up with terms like “Black Africans” which he “took from the focus groups he attended”. He said the term, however, did not exist in South Africa. The SG’s previous explanation on the matter was rejected and an appeal was made to the SG to use the law as it currently stood. If anyone had any issues with the laws, there were processes to amend them. Until then, the current law needed to be used accordingly. There was no need for fruitless debates when the law clearly addressed the matter, and the law should be correctly applied. The SG should apply the law and not “his discretion”. The independence of the SG did not give him the independence to undermine the law of the country. Continuing to use the term “Black Africans” undermined South African law.

What was Stats SA’s audit outcome target? Was Stats SA aiming to obtain an unqualified opinion or a clean opinion? The irregular expenditure incurred by Stats SA was an issue. The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA’s) report highlighted an amount of R250 million spent without following protocol. Could Stats SA account for the irregular expenditure?

The presentation stated that the gadgets used in the census could not be sourced locally. What could the procured gadgets do that an application in a normal laptop or tablet could not do? What was the motivation for purchasing physical devices instead of using an application?

Transformation was South Africa’s biggest challenge. In the past, race was the biggest motivator behind oppression. Could Stats SA provide a detailed breakdown of the access to water and electricity per population group? The information on the media showed that the only people struggling with accessing water and electricity were Africans. Some people in Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal were still struggling with accessing water and electricity to date and had no choice but to share water with animals. Stats SA should not provide the global results on access to water and electricity as they were misleading.

Ms C Phiri (ANC) said she had a serious challenge with people in the Committee who felt like a certain matter was about them. Parliamentarians, given a mandate by their constituency, did not speak for themselves but spoke on behalf of South Africans.

Mr Manyi raised a point of order. He advised that the Committee address the agenda at hand and refrain from addressing other Members of Parliament (MPs). Each Committee member took an oath of office, and he did not appreciate being lectured about how he should carry out his responsibilities. He strongly suggested that the agenda be attended to and that the Committee refrain from “engaging in an undercooked workshop”.

The Chairperson said he was about to ask Ms Phiri if she was referring to a specific Committee Member, as she did not mention any names. The point of order was noted and perhaps a bit rushed because Ms Phiri was still making her point. He invited Ms Phiri to continue with her point.

Ms T Tobias (ANC) raised a point of order and said Mr Manyi referred to people as emotional in the previous week’s meeting. Her understanding was that everyone had emotions unless they were unconscious. Points of order could not be frivolous as no clause in the rule book restricted a Member of the Committee from addressing another Member. Mr Manyi was out of order and should be ruled as such because Ms Phiri had the right to refer to anyone.

The Chairperson said Mr Manyi rose on a point of order and as a Chairperson, he could not rule him out of order but could choose not to sustain his point of order, which was exactly what he had done. The matter had already been attended to and Ms Phiri would be allowed to continue speaking because she had not mentioned Mr Manyi or any other Committee member. Ms Phiri would be allowed to make her contribution in any manner she deemed fit unless she was personally attacking someone. Ms Phiri could continue with her point.

Ms Phiri requested a workshop for the Committee to know and understand their roles as parliamentarians and representatives of their constituencies. The workshop was crucial as it would teach the Committee how to scrutinise reports and not speak from common sense. While she did not refer to anyone in her statement, she said “if the shoe fits, then so be it”. She said she was not intimidated but felt attacked. However, she was a “big girl” hence she was an MP.

A traditional census would have had a cost of approximately R6.6 billion. The use of technology reduced Stats SA’s costs by approximately R2.2 billion which showed the beneficial impact of digitisation. With unemployment rising in South Africa, what risk did Stats SA’s staff face following the transition to a digitalised census system which rendered certain positions redundant because the technology could perform data collection and data analysis? The additional loss of jobs would affect addressing the unemployment issue leading to more unemployment.

The rise in population seen in Gauteng and the Western Cape was concerning. Stats SA’s transitional plan needed to be understood and the staff needed to be reskilled and reinforced. The presentation showed that there was a huge influx of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe and Botswana, but it did not mention anything about the Jewish illegal immigrants or the number of immigrants from Palestine and Israel currently in South Africa. What was Stats SA’s plan to address immigration?

The final slide showed a picture of an excited child holding a tablet which alluded that the tablet was donated. Did Stats SA monitor the effective usage of the donated tablets or was its involvement only restricted to donating? What did Stats SA aim to achieve when it donated tablets to schools? The Committee and South Africans should be happy about Stats SA’s donation initiative.

The usage of the term “Black Africans” was accepted and acknowledged. As per the explanation provided, there was no other word to use in terms of the Labour Act. Black people in South Africa were proudly Black Africans residing in South Africa.

Making a recommendation to Stats SA and the Committee, she said to increase the usage of the census data, Stats SA should develop more sectoral reports that analysed various correlations at a national and provincial level. The District Development Model (DDM) which focussed on Stats SA’s report, should be expedited.


Mr Maluleke said he appreciated the engagement with the Committee as it assisted Stats SA. Questions around the accuracy of the census data had been asked since the 1996 census and such questions assisted Stats SA to remain firm as its data was reliable. Stats SA officials would answer the different questions and he would answer the remaining questions.

The ethnic group of foreign individuals was not asked during the enumeration process. For example, Zimbabweans were not asked if they were Kalanga, Ndebele or Zezeru and, similarly, people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were not asked if they were Chewa or Lingala. Stats SA merely asked people to state the country they came from. Only the top five countries with the highest number of people residing in South Africa were included in the national census. The census found that 15 000 people were from Pakistan and 890 people were from Israel. As stated, the ethnic groups were not determined.

Ms Yandiswa Mpetsheni, Acting Deputy-Director General (DDG): Population and Social Statistics, Stats SA, said Stats SA was busy with provincial launches to filter the census data to the municipalities. The provincial launches had been held in the previous week and one was also held on 10 October 2023. Beyond provinces, Stats SA planned to interact with districts and local municipalities. Stats SA was working on a tool called SuperCROSS which local municipalities could use to perform data analysis and access census data. SuperCROSS would be available for use from 7 November 2023. On 1 November 2023, SuperCROSS would be made available for internal use to determine if it was operating effectively.

To ensure that the census results were reliable, the results went through various measures, including validation checks. The data also needed to be validated by comparing it with the population size through the national population register and other registers sourced from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), ensuring that the data was credible. Stats SA also had independent consultants who looked at the various stages of the population census, from the value chain stage to the data analysis and post-enumeration survey (PES) stages. As the SG had communicated, the Statistics Council declared that the results were fit for use. The PES looked at the census net coverage to determine the undercount and content coverage and through the PES, the number of people omitted from the census were accounted for.

The population growth was caused by immigration and births in the country. While the number of births was declining relatively, they still contributed to the rising population.

The information requested on the access to water and electricity would be made available to the Committee. Households headed by white people had the highest percentage of access to water and electricity.

Stats SA was busy compiling sector-specific reports. It was preparing an education sector report which would look at the national, provincial and district levels. Additionally, it would compile a report on disability and gender statistics which would look at the household headship, and access to electronics such as television devices and the internet. The sector reports would be published by the end of the current financial year.

Mr Calvin Molongoana, Acting DDG: Statistical Support and Informatics, Stats SA, said the donation to the provincial Department of Education was not a direct donation to schools because the tablets did not have the education programme used in the different programmes. Stats SA’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had a clause that stated that the tablet donation recipient provinces would confirm that they had programmes to use the gadgets for and that the gadgets would not be stored in storage facilities but delivered to the relevant schools. Stats SA has been engaging with several provincial education departments and they have distributed the tablets to the schools that were already on e-learning programmes Stats SA was invited when the tablets were handed over to the various schools. All provinces had received some sort of donation.

Stats SA used tablets instead of an application as it had control over the tablets, the applications installed, and site restrictions on the tablets which was crucial because it ensured that the staff did not visit any prohibited sites. The tablets were configured to grant access to specific applications. Additionally, employees could not be asked to use their own devices because Stats SA would need to provide data for connectivity purposes. Additionally, the flow of the questionnaire was easier to follow on the tablet compared to using a cellphone. Stats SA would be unable to monitor personal gadgets, but the Stats SA tablets could be monitored daily. If the need arose, Stats SA could remotely control the tablet after obtaining the necessary approvals and issue instructions to stop the functioning of a certain tablet or wipe the necessary information on a misplaced device. The schools that received the tablet donations had access to electricity and backup energy supplies.

Stats SA targeted employing 50% of field workers between the ages of 25 and 35. It had surpassed the target and employed 85% of field workers between the ages of 25 and 35. The dropouts received were mainly university students who had to travel when universities opened. During training, a high number of White and Indian potential field workers resigned as they said the extent of the work did not correlate to the payment. Therefore, there was a majority of Black and Coloured field workers which was not unique to the 2022 census.

Stats SA’s minimum selection criterion was a matric certificate. The applicants needed to reside in the allocated areas to avoid travelling extensively and ensure they would be familiar with that area. That increased the field worker’s chance of being accepted by the community as they had a good standing relationship with the community. Each applicant was subject to a vetting process conducted by the SAPS to ascertain that Stats SA was sending people in good standing to interact with their communities. Stats SA also had learner management systems where training was provided to potential field staff and tests were written on various modules. Only field workers who achieved at least 60% were employed. However, due to the high resignation rate, the pass rate was subsequently reduced to 50%. Stats SA employed supervisors who could drive to be able to transport the teams to dispatched enumeration areas. The security cluster was always informed about Stats SA’s activities. When field workers and supervisors visited the various enumeration areas, any incidents were first reported in police stations. Stats SA could not have known that field workers would decide to cross rivers to conduct their duties. Stats SA had to take a break during the flood season in KwaZulu-Natal until it was safe for field workers to continue with their duties.

Ms Nthabiseng Makhatha, DDG: Methodology, Standards and Research Branch, Stats SA, said the landmass and the remoteness of the farms in the Northern Cape contributed to the high undercount rate in the province compared to the Free State and North West. The Northern Cape’s undercount of persons in farm areas was approximately 61.8% while the undercount rate in similar areas in Free State and North West was approximately 28%. Looking at the households in the farms, the Northern Cape, Free State, and North West showed similar patterns in the census process and the undercount rate for households located in farm areas was 48%. The difficulties faced in counting persons in the farm areas of the Northern Cape led to a higher undercount rate as compared to the North West and Free State.

Mr Ashwell Jenneker, DDG: Statistical Support and Informatics, Stats SA, said Stats SA had provided SuperCROSS training to Parliament during the previous census. The training was a two to three-hour session, allowing everyone, including the researchers, to attend. On SuperCROSS, the data could be filtered by race and by services to obtain the desired results. If possible, when SuperCROSS was available, Stats SA could assist MPs with the necessary downloads so that they could access the site on their devices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stats SA partnered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to create a National Policy Data Observatory (NPDO). Through that partnership, Stats SA had ensured that the decisions made during the pandemic were evidence-based. The data included Stats SA’s data, private sector data affecting the COVID-19 pandemic decisions, and all other relevant data. The NPDO was still active and moving forward, it would become a one-stop shop for data. The NPDO was hosted by the high infrastructure computing centre.

Mr Bruce Jooste, Acting DDG: Corporate Services, Stats SA, said the over-expenditure of R825 million was largely due to the extension of the fieldwork, the payment of field workers, the procurement of vehicles and vehicle-related expenditure. Several vehicles had been returned to reduce costs, and the other reverse logistics were attended to. It was a huge exercise for Stats SA to return the tablets to Gauteng and the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) had to assist. Stats SA’s security unit had to collect the tablets across the country which needed to be repackaged and rescanned. Various processes were undertaken when the tablets were donated to the education departments.

Stats SA’s target was to obtain a clean audit opinion. It was worth noting that with a project of that magnitude, there were bound to be challenging areas or areas where there was non-compliance, as illustrated by the census 2022. However, Stats SA was investigating the over-expenditure. NT was busy with a review report which should be released within the next two weeks. The review looked into the census expenditure and over-expenditure. Stats SA was engaging with the AGSA, and it would monitor Stats SA’s action plans to conclude the expenditure identified as fruitless and wasteful. During the census 2022, Stats SA had a massive spike in invoices and vehicle accidents. Those issues fell under governance issues that needed to be investigated.

Stats SA has already started digitising its processes and was reviewing its skill development strategy to align it to its digital transformation agenda, specifically focusing on realigning future skills. As indicated in the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) committee meeting held the previous week, there were no retrenchments in government because the affected people were reskilled as part of a placement programme within the organisation.

A lot of natural disasters happened when the national census was conducted and a request for additional funding through the required funding processes was made to NT in February and mid-March 2022 when the census was extended. However, due to funding priorities, the funding request was declined in June 2022, but Stats SA received a rollover on its funds as outlined in the presentation. Stats SA employed over 114 000 field workers and supervisors. Unfortunately, there had been over 15 deaths in that period, one of which was work-related and was caused by a vehicle accident. The remaining 14 deaths were due to illnesses and unnatural deaths which were not work-related. When Stats SA became aware of the flooded rivers, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, the enumeration process was put on hold until it was safe for the field workers to continue with their duties.

The census process started in January 2022 and universities opened around February/March 2022. The census was extended, and the student field workers had to return to university. Other resignations pertained to unemployed field workers seeking permanent employment elsewhere. Stats SA targeted to employ 50% youth field workers and exceeded the target by employing 85% youth contract staff aged 20 - 35 years. The applicants for the field work position needed to be unemployed youths. There were certain instances where people working in other departments applied but that was dealt with accordingly. As explained in the meeting on 13 October 2023, Stats SA, in collaboration with NT, were preparing for an engagement with SCOPA and the AGSA’s assessment of the action plans for dealing with fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Mr Maluleke said the undercount was included in the final number of people counted. The undercount should not be an issue that was fixated upon. The notion of correct, reliable, and accurate data was carried forward. In determining the undercount, Stats SA was not called out by anyone outside the organisation for undercounting. For example, a separate independent population census was not performed and compared against Stats SA’s released census data and concluded that Stats SA had a certain undercount. Rather, Stats SA made the undercount available by publishing it. The undercount was published to demonstrate that Stats SA’s processes were transparent. The collection rate was the highest in the Free State at 98% and in the Western Cape at 86%. When Stats SA arrived at a dwelling unit, it was uncertain if anyone would be home. Additionally, it was uncertain if members of that household would agree to participate in the census. Some homes were abandoned which was determined by the condition of the home. Sometimes the neighbours would confirm that the house was unoccupied, and Stats SA recorded the information accordingly. Likewise, if the house was locked but pets were seen on the premises, it was evidence that someone occupied the space. One dwelling unit could also have multiple households because the occupants might be eating from different pots. For example, in a dwelling unit, there may be five rooms, two of those may eat from the same pot while the remaining three eat from separate pots.

During the PES, Stats SA made a record for record comparison and conducted reconciliation visits to ensure everyone was included in the census. Through the PES, the undercount was determined. South Africa was amongst the few transparent countries that released transparent data. Other countries did not publish the PES data collected. The undercount information published could be either very high or very low. The United Nations (UN) did not provide guidelines on what qualified as a high undercount. The UN only required that the undercount be determined after conducting a PES. Once the undercount was determined, the necessary adjustments were processed and South Africa’s census showed a population count of 62 million people. The total population count was made up of the total number of people reached and missed. The different undercounts in the different provinces meant the related adjustments would differ. The different undercounts within a province for different variables like sex, age cohorts, settlement types, etc. would be different and the necessary adjustments would be made. Stats SA then looked at the population from different institutions, like correctional sectors, academic institutions, hostels, hotel lists, and homeless people not living in a dwelling unit, to determine the final population size. The Western Cape had the highest number of homeless people living in shelters.

Additionally, Stats SA looked at the population register and the various patterns from previous censuses. For example, in the 1996 census, young white males were the most missing because they were mostly in single-home establishments, and it was a huge problem if they could not be reached. In 2001, young white males and children between zero to five years were missing and the necessary adjustments had to be made using adjustment factors. Between 2001 and 2011, children under the age of five and single household members, despite race, were missing and had to be adjusted for. Thus, the census 2022 final count of 62 million people accounted for the undercount.

He assured the Committee that the data was reliable; the undercount had been included in the final census count and an explanation had been included in the census count and PES. All consultants that assisted Stats SA with the different variables unanimously resolved that the census data was reliable and fit for purpose. Stats SA would not have released the census data if the data was not reliable and fit for purpose. If that was the case, Stats SA would have shamefully addressed the nation and communicated that it would not be releasing the census data. Several countries, like Nigeria, previously failed to release the census data but South Africa has never had that experience. The questions raised in Parliament were similar to those raised by the public, and Stats SA would continue answering those questions even outside of Parliament. The census results were fit for purpose and the Stats SA Council released a statement confirming that.

The United States of America (USA) had conducted its census before the pandemic. Alaska conducted its census during the pandemic and as a result, encountered some challenges. That showed people could be missed during censuses, and sometimes at a large scale. While a census was a complete count, not everyone was reached, hence, the USA was one of the countries that conducted a PES to determine the undercount like South Africa. The British also conducted a digitalised census but the British were more sophisticated than South Africa. The USA still used paper-based forms to conduct their censuses since 1870. South Africa was the only country that conducted its census right in the middle of a pandemic and in a different environment from the British environment where there was greater access to technology. The 2022 census would be the basis for scholarly research in South Africa and internationally. The census 2022 taught Stats SA a lot about planning because there was no way of knowing about the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic was like repairing an aeroplane while it was in the air because of the new developments that occurred daily. The President did not have to consult anyone when he implemented a national lockdown as he had to address a national crisis. The floods and unrest had simply happened, and Stats SA had to deal with them too. Moving forward, technology would assist in conducting future censuses.

It was frightening to see field workers crossing rivers and streams because they were not forced to do so. A certain female field worker in Pietermaritzburg had been robbed of her work tablet and Mr Maluleke had had to travel alongside Ms Mpetsheni to address the situation. For safety reasons, it was communicated that the lady would not return to that area and a team would be organised to continue the field work. However, she insisted on continuing her duties without intimidation because she had a child to take care of. The lady communicated that the enumeration job was the only job she had had in her lifetime. As an accounting officer, seeing the footage of the floods and the unrest was concerning because crocodiles could have easily snatched the field workers. Following the flooding events, the fieldwork in KwaZulu-Natal and North West was halted instantly. He also addressed the situation when field workers were using donkey carts because they could have been hacked. The fieldwork in KwaZulu-Natal was stopped for two weeks and a Stats SA team, led by Mr Jenneker, was sent to the areas to address the issues, and waited for the conditions to improve before resuming any fieldwork.

There would be many changes when the census was conducted in ten years time and Stats SA would use technology, for example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, to conduct the census. Who would have known that smartphones which made life easier, would have been available for the 2022 census in the year 1996? Additionally, in 1996, computers were not prevalent. Thus, in future censuses, Stats SA would take advantage of the technology at that time. However, as one of the consultant vehicles had mentioned, it was always assumed that using technology would cut costs but the initial investments in technology were quite expensive. When cell phones were initially invented around 1996, they were quite expensive and sold for about R10 000 to R14 000. Cell phones were easily purchased today, and more money was spent on data.

The population of 40 million people in 1996 had fewer women who could give birth even though the fertility rate was high. In 2011, South Africa had a population of 56 million people, resulting in a higher base of women who could give birth. While the fertility rate was declining, the population base of women was higher. For example, if there were five women in 1996 giving birth to four children each, there would be a total of 20 children born. While the fertility rate of four children per woman was high, the population of women was small. If, for instance, between 2011 and 2022, eight women gave birth to three children each, it would symbolise that the fertility rate declined but 24 children would be born, giving rise to an increase in the number of children due to the base increase in the number of women.

The population growth, especially in Gauteng, was not only driven by the number of immigrants outside South Africa but also by South Africans relocating from other provinces. The fertility rate in the Western Cape was not as high as the Eastern Cape’s fertility rate. In 1996, people left children in the Eastern Cape and migrated to the Western Cape. Today, families collectively moved to the Western Cape. Students from Limpopo migrated to Gauteng as students and settled and got married in the province. Approximately 50% of foreigners immigrating to South Africa settled in Gauteng.

Stats SA would be visiting all provinces, districts, academic institutions, and Parliament to encourage the use of the census data. The aim was to assist the different structures in using the census data once it was received. 

The recurring issue Mr Manyi raised was the phrase “Black Africans”. Sometimes when Parliament directed Stats SA, it was more of an instruction to address a certain matter at that point because it was what the law stated. The “Black African” term was first determined in 1996. Stats SA’s responsibility as a statistical agency was not only to look at the issues but also to consider if focus groups were comfortable in answering certain questions. One question which was unpopular amongst focus groups was whether people were born in South Africa or not. When different African countries met at the UN, those issues were tested in focus groups to determine if people were comfortable answering various questions. Once that information was collected, how questions were asked would ensure that Stats SA received the highest response rate. The issue around the use of the “Black African” term was sensitive in the nation. Thus, the Constitution did away with referring people as black, coloured, or white. Identity Documents (IDs) also did not reveal a person's race, but the matter had to be raised for employment equity purposes.

When Statisticians had to assist and report to the nation, they needed to ensure that they had more data points in the way that people responded. The Coloured community had petitioned Stats SA on numerous occasions. Stats SA included “Other” to the ethnic groups, including the Khoi and the San people. The Ambassador of the Portuguese people also reached out to Stats SA for the Portuguese population size. However, that could not be determined because, during the focus groups, the Portuguese language did not make the top five languages spoken in South Africa. The statistical processes needed to ensure that the information sequence was not broken from 1996. If the sequence was broken and information was not linked to previous censuses, the information would not be protected for future generations.

Stats SA sometimes ran parallel surveys to check data stability. The issue was not only around population groups but gender as well. Genders had expanded from being “male” and “female” to the LGBTQI+ community where the gender assigned at birth was no longer applicable. The LGBTQI+ community wanted to be included in the gender category. Stats SA could not instantly implement the inclusion of the LGBTQI+ community in the gender options because the necessary processes needed to be followed. Focus groups were critical in processing the official statistics and they should not be simply done away with.

Blacks and Coloureds mainly struggled with accessing water and electricity and a high percentage of Indians and Whites had access to water and electricity. Indians and Whites had similar results when it came to low poverty and teenage pregnancy rates and Black Africans and Coloureds faced a majority of those challenges.

Stats SA provided access to the migration data but was not allowed by the law to proceed any further with the information. Statisticians dealt with the statistics and were not involved in policy development for independence purposes. Statisticians needed to avail the statistics without any fear or prejudice. They also had to treat all users the same regardless of their position in government or society. Accountability was similar in cases where for example, the President and the MPs were involved. While Stats SA reported to the Committee, it needed to treat the Committee the same way as the public.

Refusals were not captured by race because when a field worker visited a home and was prevented from enumerating the household, Stats SA did not know the population group of the other members of the household. The refusals were captured at the household level and not at the population level. Approximately 1.2 million households refused to be enumerated and the pandemic was cited as the biggest reason for the refusal. The households stated that they could not trust any persons in their homes during the pandemic or they did not trust anyone from the government. The field workers could not insist on counting the households as they would be placing themselves at risk. About 636 546 households in Gauteng refused to partake in the census. In the Western Cape, about 185 268 households refused to part-take in the census and KwaZulu-Natal, 165 632 households refused. The statistics released by Stats SA went through numerous quality and veracity checks. The data could stand the test of time, was reliable, and fit for use. The public was encouraged through Parliament to use the information for planning purposes, as stated by the Statistics Council.

Further Discussion

Ms Tobias asked if the UN accredited the PES.

What was the budgetary allocation for the Northern Cape enumeration process?

What was the percentage of the undercount in the Northern Cape? It was uncertain how people were missed in the Northern Cape as it was a very unique province.

Mr Manyi said he was an African without a prefix. While he did not hear Ms Tobias’ point of order, he would not have been persuaded to change his stance which remained as was articulated.

Ms Tobias said her point of order was on a small matter that was not substance.

Mr Manyi said the explanation behind the use of the term “Black African” was much clearer, but he was still in disagreement. Was he, an “African without a prefix” included in the “Other” category or did the SG decide to “drag him while kicking and screaming” into the “Black African” category that he strongly disagreed with? He could not be lumped with Black Africans because he was simply an “African without a prefix”.

What was Stats SA’s audit opinion target? Was the target a clean audit which was not met or was it an unqualified audit opinion? Why was it so difficult to answer the question?

When should the Committee expect to receive the document on different demographics’ access to water and electricity results? The Committee did not want to wait “until Christmas”?

He had previously asked about the nature of the gadgets because they were used as a reason for the multiple irregularities and fruitless and wasteful expenditures. The response given made sense and led to a follow-up question. Could laptops not be configured to prevent employees from accessing restricted sites? If Stats SA could not procure the tablets, why was an alternative plan not implemented because laptops were cheaper? Why did Stats SA procure tablets and incur all the financial irregularities when laptops were cheaper than tablets? Since Stats SA used its gadgets on a once-off basis, there was no need to procure the finest laptops. The Committee did not want critical departments such as Stats SA to have reports that raised red flags on supply chain issues.

Ms Phiri said the Committee’s role was to conduct its oversight function, evaluate value for money, and not deal with procurement-related matters.


Mr Maluleke said Ms Mpetsheni would forward the document showing the demographic breakdown on the access to water and electricity in South Africa through the chat function.

Ms Mpetsheni said she would share a table on the analysis of the access to water and electricity as it was not included in the available statistical releases. The information was included in the data which would be made available on SuperCROSS and could be accessed accordingly.

With regards to access to water, the percentage of household heads by population group with access to piped (tap) water inside the dwelling was discovered to be 48.8% for Black Africans, 89.5% for Coloureds, 97.3% for Indians or Asians, 97.7% for Whites and 69.8% for other population groups. The population group of household heads with access to electricity were discovered to be 93% for Black Africans, 97.7% for Coloureds, 99.4% for Indians or Asians, 98.9% for Whites and 94.4% for other population groups. While the full results could not be included, the information was available on SuperCROSS and could be accessed at any given time.

Mr Maluleke said the PES was a UN-acclaimed method used to conduct a population census.

Stats SA was not in a position to provide a breakdown of its expenditure at that time but it could be done at a later stage. For procurement purposes, a list of laptops and vehicles required would be compiled for a particular province and a bulk purchase would be made. For example, if 150 000 gadgets were required, a buffer would be made, including a buffer for questionnaire printing. When the necessary procurements had been made, Stats SA would sometimes discover new settlements that needed to be catered for. Thus, additional gadgets and vehicles could be shifted from one province to another.

Stats SA could work out the Northern Cape's actual expenditure if required. Stats SA budgeted nationally because it was a national entity and unpacked as per the operational needs. The Northern Cape had a huge land mass but had fewer people. The province with the largest undercount was not the Northern Cape but the Western Cape with an undercount of 35.58%. The Northern Cape had an undercount of 33.41%. The household level for the Northern Cape sat at 27.14%. Stats SA unpacked every variable at every level, including the consistency of the variables. Stats SA did not allocate a lesser budget to the Northern Cape to obtain a lesser undercount. All provinces were treated equitably, and Stats SA refrained from allocating provinces with smaller population sizes with lesser budgets. However, for provinces that had more structures, like Gauteng, more vehicles had to be allocated to the province in question. The Northern Cape did not have fewer people, but fewer points had to be visited and Stats SA faced challenges with the farming communities.

The global procurement challenges were equally difficult in terms of laptops and tablets. While working with NT, Stats SA was able to obtain cheaper laptops and tablets with the required specifications. However, tablets were easier to carry than laptops because the cheaper laptops were heavier. Even if Stats SA could have chosen laptops, the global distribution would have been disrupted because they were all manufactured externally and the COVID-19 pandemic halted imports.

Mr Manyi asked what Stats SA’s audit opinion target was.

Mr Maluleke said Stats SA’s target was to obtain a clean audit on the census and in each financial year.

The Chairperson said he got a sense that the Committee appreciated the work done by Stats SA as it overcame extreme circumstances, like the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges faced in the two provinces, and its internal issues which needed to be continuously addressed.

The work done in the planning and coordination stages of the census was appreciated because it provided South Africa with a clear picture of what the country looked like. It was concerning that the field workers could not access certain areas. However, the matter was outside the mandate of Stats SA as it was a political matter that needed to be addressed. The issue surrounding the rejection of enumerators from certain demographics raised a problem and was not an issue that Stats SA would be in a position to attend to. The Committee would highlight the matter and plan interventions to address it.

The census undercounting issue has been thoroughly explained. It should be noted that undercounting did not equate to unreliability. The undercounting did not affect the reliability of the data and quality assurance. A conclusion should not be made that the existence of undercounting meant deficiencies in the census. The issues raised should be noted as recommendations to be included in the provincial launch reports and the DDM-focused statistics as part of empowering decision-makers and ordinary citizens. The requested data on water and electricity access should be forwarded to the Committee.

The Committee would continue to address the issues related to the political framework under which Stats SA operated without disturbing the work of independent operations. The Committee should show its willingness to respond to the best of its ability.

He thanked the Deputy Minister and the SG for briefing the Committee and the public on the contentious issues faced by Stats SA. South Africa was a diverse nation with people from all backgrounds who saw things differently but that should be seen as a strength that can be managed as part of the nation-building project.

Stats SA needed to make the census 2022 results accessible because different institutions and stakeholders would require the information for different purposes. Hopefully, Stats SA would be effective and efficient in providing the necessary information to the different stakeholders, i.e., the Committee, municipalities, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), etc.

Committee Matters

The Committee considered and adopted the minutes of 20 October 2023.

The Chairperson thanked the Committee for taking the time to consider the 2022 census results. The delegation from Stats SA was also thanked for briefing the Committee. The Committee would continue engaging with Stats SA on other matters beyond the 2022 census results, such as the upcoming Statistics Amendment Bill. The Committee aimed to be in alignment with Stats SA and follow its quarterly reports.

The meeting was adjourned.

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