South Africa’s 2022 census underway
South Africa has launched its once-in-a-decade population census to collect data that will help the government's policy formulation and planning, the statistics agency has said.
Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, joined the Statistics South Africa team in Cape Town on Wednesday night.
Stats SA began counting the transient population at various sites on Wednesday as part of the nationwide Census Night activities, marking the official start of the Census 2022 count.
The homeless, transients, people living in hotels, lodges, hospitals and other communal living quarters are counted on Census Night.
Thousands of field workers will be hitting the road on Thursday to households across the country.
Minister Gungubele was at Cape Town International Airport on Wednesday night and was excited to be part of the team dressed in green.
"I'm very excited to be part of the team. People move in South Africa. They go to informal settlements and so on. For socio-economic challenges, it will have bearing, whether it is access to sanitation and water..." the minister said.
Speaking about the protection of personal information, Stats SA's Trevor Oosterwyk said that information would not be made available to entities - not to the South African Revenue Service or ministers.
This census exercise is expected to see about 160 000 field workers counting the population from February 3 to 28.
It will be the fourth population count conducted in post-apartheid South Africa.
Initially scheduled for October last year, it was postponed due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time, respondents have the option to furnish their details online.
In 2016, South Africa's population stood at 55.7 million, according to official figures.
Collected data will update demographic information as well as mortality and fertility rates, and migration trends.
South Africa, the most industrialised economy on the continent is a magnet for migrants from poorer countries.
At the last count in 2011, the statistics agency counted more than 2.2 million migrants living within its borders.
Other data to be gathered during the census include education and income levels, and food security.