Statistics South Africa to conduct trial to the country’s first ever digital census

The Census 2021 Trial, scheduled to start from 10 August – 06 September 2020 in selected areas around the country will test online and telephonic data collection to prepare for remote data collection in the upcoming Census 2021.

Census 2021 is the first population count to introduce digital census taking through the use of online and telephonic data collection platforms, which will also allow respondents to complete the census questionnaire on their own. The telephonic data collection makes provision for respondents to participate in the census with the assistance of a Stats SA call centre agent. The increased use of cell phones and the current technology driven digital era will minimise the challenge of reaching hard to access communities, thus allowing more people to participate in the census.

Participating in the Census 2021 Trial requires respondents to register through a platform that is available on Stats SA online and social media platforms. Respondents may also contact Stats SA via our toll free number 0800 110 248 for further assistance.

A census provides small area data on demographics, socio-economic and living conditions of the population. It assists with forming the basis for active community participation in reviewing access to public services among other issues. Data collected through a census is used by government and different sectors of society for policy-formulation, decision making and planning.

Stats SA derives its mandate from the Statistics Act No. 6 of 1999 to collect data for statistical purposes and to conduct a census. The Act makes is mandatory for respondents to provide data when required. Data collected by Stats SA is only used for statistical purposes and may not be shared with the state or any organs of the state and it remains confidential.

As part of quality assessment, Stats SA conducts an independent survey called the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES). The PES 2021 Trial will be conducted immediately after the completion of Census 2021 Trial data collection, and the survey is used to evaluate the quality of the Census 2021 Trial data

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