The 2022 census begins this week and runs until February 28.
The closing date for registering on the Statistics South Africa data free platform (https://getcounted.statssa.gov.za) has been extended until February 5. All persons wishing to complete their questionnaire online or by telephone data collection – and not be visited by a worker in the field – must register.
WATCH: Stats SA spokesman Trevor Oosterwyk tells Izak du Plessis more about the 2022 census, including how people can take part in this mandatory event and what they can do to protect themselves from opportunistic criminals.
Census night is Wednesday (February 2). Stats SA says that that night, field workers will count the homeless, the transient population and those in collective accommodation, such as prisons and nursing homes.
“We count everyone, regardless of nationality or citizenship, within the borders of South Africa,” says Trevor Oosterwyk, spokesman for Stats SA.
At least 160,000 field workers will ask people where they spent the night of February 2.
“In this way, we take a snapshot of South Africa on the night of February 2,” says Oosterwyk.
The 2022 census is the first digital population count and will give respondents the option of completing the census questionnaire with or without the assistance of a census field worker or call center agent. This will further allow respondents to access the census questionnaire remotely, thereby enabling Stats SA to reach people in all localities.
There are three ways to be counted:
- A representative from Stats SA will come to your home for a face-to-face interview, using a digital device to capture your data.
- You can complete an online questionnaire remotely.
- You can complete the questionnaire remotely, with the help of a Stats SA agent, accessible through a call centre.
Oosterwyk says there is an audit system in place that will allow Stats SA to identify people who have not completed the questionnaire.
“If you don’t register, an officer will come to your home to remind you that you need to be counted.”
The questions are divided into three main sections: geography, people and households.
- Geography: This includes provincial and municipal boundaries.
- People: This includes race, gender, language, age, internal migration, citizenship, education and employment status.
- Households: this section quantifies the type, size and ownership status of dwellings; access to water, toilets, electricity and garbage disposal; distribution of household items and Internet access.
Oosterwyk says no one can refuse to be counted. It is a democratic responsibility and sanctions can apply to those who refuse to cooperate.
“However, we prefer people to do it voluntarily, even if they are bound by law. I don’t like to use scare tactics for this job,” says Oosterwyk.
For more information, visit http://census.statssa.gov.za/ or contact the call center on 0800 110 248.