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Statistics South Africa ignites plan to count the entire population during Census 2021 

 16 September 2019

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will conduct the Census 2021 Mini Test from 9 October to 6 November 2019 in selected areas around the country. Fieldworkers will visit households in Buffalo City, Ekurhuleni, Mangaung, UMgungundlovu, Polokwane, Emalahleni, Kimberley, Rustenburg, and Cape Town. Census Mini Test will be conducted to prepare for the upcoming Census in 2021 and as such will test and review census data collection tools and systems as well as operational methodologies. Census 2021 will be the first population count to use new methods of data collection that involve the use of digital devices. Fieldworkers will administer the census questionnaire face to face with respondents using the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI); and where applicable, the option of Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI), whereby a respondent completes the questionnaire via the web may be used.


Population censuses are the key source of disaggregated data about the population and the socio-economic dynamics in the country. The data collected through a census are used by different sectors of society including, government, business, and other users for evidence-based planning and decision making.


The first phase of training has started where field operations officers from across the country are being prepared to implement the Census methodologies to be used.

“We encourage communities to participate in the Census 2021 Mini Test to ensure that quality data for evidence-based policy making is generated through the upcoming population count. Data collected remains confidential and covers demographic variables – age, sex, language spoken; migration, education, employment status and living conditions of the households among other variables," said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke.


Given the continued development of new settlements in the country, updating the geography frame is one of the key activities that guide fieldwork operations to ensure that all dwelling units are identified and listed for enumeration. Fieldworkers assigned to update the geography frame are already working across the country to ensure that a comprehensive list of enumeration areas is developed.


Stats SA fieldworkers can be identified through the official Stats SA Identification (ID) Card displaying the Stats SA logo, the photograph and a unique number of the fieldworker. Respondents can also contact the Census 2021 Toll-free number (0800 110 248) to verify the fieldworkers visiting their homes. Respondents may also visit the Stats SA website for online verification of fieldworkers.


Stats SA is mandated by the Statistics Act (Act No. 6 of 1999). In terms of section 17 of the Act, information collected on individuals and their households remains confidential. The also obligates all persons to provide data to any Stats SA official, when requested.


Census 2021 Mini Test PAMPHLET.pdf

Census 2021 Mini test key messages.docx.pdf

Issued by Statistics South Africa


For media enquiries contact:

Lesedi Dibakwane

Tel: 012 310 8578

Cell: 082 805 7088


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