Celebration of Worlds Statistics day and the Launch of Provincial Census

ADDRESS BY THE PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE, MRS HAZEL JENKINS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF WORLS STATISTICS DAY AND THE LAUNCH OF PROVINCIAL CENSUS AT THE CHRISTIAN REVIVAL CHURCH IN KIMBERLEY ON 2 NOVEMBER 2010
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Honourable MEC’s and Members of the Provincial Legislature

The Head of Statistics SA, Mr Pali Lehohla

Honourable Mayor and Councillors

Government Officials

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is indeed a singular pleasure for me, as Premier of this wonderful Province, the Northern Cape, to join each and every one of you in celebrating World Statistics Day and presiding over the official launch of Provincial Census 2011.

World Statistics Day was celebrated globally on the 20th of October this year as a once-off event to promote awareness of the significant contributions of official statistics in facilitating the work of government.

In addition, the next Population Census will be conducted on 10 October 2011, thus marking the third democratic Population Census in our Country.

In covering the length and breadth of Southern Africa, Stats SA will be employing more than 120 000 people for this mammoth task of enlisting individuals in households and collecting data, which will be critical for planning. This data will incorporate age, gender, employment, education, income, births and deaths in the family, household arrangements, access to public services and access to communication tools. The information collected will be of significant importance in our collective endeavour to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to reiterate that a census is undertaken periodically to assist Government in planning, decision-making and evaluation of programmes and policies. Stats SA is legally mandated to count every person residing within the borders of our Republic.

Therefore I call upon every citizen of the Northern Cape Province to work together with Government and civil society stakeholders in order to ensure a successful Census in 2011. In this regard I appeal to all sectors of society to join Government in mobilising every person to participate in Census 2011.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have collectively delivered one of the best ever World Cups in living memory, and I am certain that Census 2011 will once again showcase the “can do” attitude of South Africans by fully supporting and participating in Census 2011. We are indeed a nation of winners.

Census 2011, Ladies and Gentlemen, will provide the most comprehensive picture of South African Society and economy in the post-apartheid era. A population census is the most complex and massive exercise a national statistics office can undertake. It requires mapping the entire country, mobilising and training tens of thousands of enumerators, conducting a comprehensive publicity campaign, canvassing all households to participate, collecting individual information, compiling vast amounts of completed questionnaires and analysing and disseminating the data.

The other main intentions of a Census are:

* To ensure equity in the distribution of government services;
* To measure the impact of industrial development;
* To delineate electoral districts at national and local levels; and
* To distribute and allocate government funds among various regions and districts for educational and health services.

Ladies and Gentlemen, without a reliable census, the national statistical system would face difficulties in providing accurate data for use by government and the public.

Of particular relevance to the Northern Cape is that the Census also provides information on small population groups and this is important, for example, in planning the location for a school or a clinic. Census data is also invaluable for use in the private sector for activities such as business planning and marketing analysis.

In his message on World Statistics Day, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, stated that, and I quote:

“Statistics are a vital tool for economic and social development, including our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For development to succeed, we need data collection and statistical analysis of poverty levels, access to education and the incidence of disease.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, without solid information, we cannot measure where we are and what needs to be done. Remember that as a Country, and indeed as a Province, if we cannot get the right numbers, we cannot push or advocate for the right solutions.

In raising awareness of the many contributions of official statistics premised on the core values of service, integrity and professionalism, I humbly urge every person in this Province to offer his or her full support to Statistics South Africa during the Census 2011.

In so doing, I now formally announce the launch of Provincial Census 2011 countdown to 10 October 2011 – we have 342 days to go to Census 2011. I am certain that all of us will stand up and be counted!

I thank you

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