Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Address by Hon. Premier Mr DD Mabuza at the Mpumalanga Census Launch, Emnotweni Arena

16 November 2010

Programme Director
Honourable MECs and Members of the Provincial Legislature
Honourable Executive Mayors and Councillors
DGs and DDGs
Senior Managers from Stats SA
Ladies and gentlemen 

Ladies and gentleman, it is with delight that, on behalf of Mpumalanga Government, I join the provincial launch of the Census 2011. As a country, we will be conducting our third post-independence Population Census.

Prior to the advent of democracy there was no reliable information available about the country as a whole. In 1996 the post-apartheid government conducted its first Population Census. This was followed by Population Census in 2001.

The 2011 Population Census will thus be the third census conducted by a democratic South African government and forms part of the 2010 round of African censuses, which aim to provide comprehensive data on the continent, for improved planning and to aid development.

The importance of a Population Census cannot be over-emphasized, as it is only through the Census that a nation is able glean knowledge about various facets of its life and development.

There is no doubt that the census plays an essential role in public administration. Most importantly, our understanding of population distribution informs decisions about equitable distribution of resources for development and service delivery. Our entire planning system and measurement of development progress depends on effective management of statistical data that allow for the tracking of changes over a defined period of time. 

The census also provides the benchmark for all surveys conducted by the national statistical office. Without the sampling frame derived from the census, the national statistical system would face difficulties in providing reliable official statistics for use by government and the public.

Census information is also invaluable for use in the private sector for activities such as business planning and market analyses. The information is used as a benchmark in research and analysis. 

 Certainly, as a province, we need reliable and timely data on population including size, geographical and administrative distribution, characteristics and composition in order to plan and enable economic and social development at national, provincial and ward levels. The Population Census is the primary source of such needed data. 

 Furthermore, the census updates the statistical frame that should be used to design and implement other statistical activities such as sample surveys as well as local area (small scale) data collection which is significant for both Provincial and local government level.  

Acknowledging that the production of reliable, timely statistics and indicators are indispensable for informed policy decisions and monitoring implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the General Assembly designated 20 October as World Statistics Day.

“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,” states Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon in his Message on World Statistics Day.

Conducting a population census in any country is a necessary task. The 2011 Population Census is key in providing government, the business community, development partners and the public with credible and up to date for planning and decision making.  

The mobilisation of the public to participate in the census is crucial. As a province, we are committed to increase awareness about the upcoming census so that everyone understands the critical importance of this exercise. Let us all stand up, and be counted.  

As a province, we should be motivated and strive to collectively come together to reduce the previous Population Census undercount of 15.6% to zero if possible. As the government of mpumalanga, we therefore appeal to the media, community leaders, religious leaders and civil society group to plan and undertake activities that would make 2011 Population Census a memorable one.  

Out of this arsenal of information we will know whether our government is making progress.  We will also know what is it that needs to be done.  Our work should always be anchored on a strong knowledge and information base.  As leaders, we need to understand the profile of communities that we lead.

Without availability of solid information we cannot measure where we are and what needs to be done. As a government for Mpumalanga, without right numbers, we cannot push for the right solutions. The poorer will remain in their dire pockets of poverty. 

The main message to the people of the Province is that Census 2011 needs you. For government to understand this province, census needs to access you. You therefore need to open your hearts, your minds, your doors, your communities, your suburbs and your villages to the census.  Let us all be counted. 

On the 10th of the 10th month in 2011, Stats SA will visit you and ask you a number of questions about your age, sex, employment, education, income, birth and death occurring in the household, household and family arrangements.  They will ask you about your access to services such as water, electricity and sanitation.  

They will seek to know about your access to communication.  All these they need to gather so that both collectively from the Government and society can know about South Africa and its needs and its achievements.     

And more than 120 000 fieldworkers will be employed to conduct the big count, which will cover more than 14 million households in the country. The Community Survey 2007 reported 940 403 households for Mpumalanga and we wish that the Population Census will provide a detailed picture up to ward level to assist the government to implement its policies.

Therefore it is important as the Government, civil society, business, traditional leaders, youth structures and other stakeholders including yourselves present here to support Stats SA in order to ensure a successful census in 2011:

  • We invite all sectors of society to join us in mobilising everybody to participate in the 2011 Census
  • Participation of multi-sectoral stakeholders in the advocacy programmes will  ensure inclusive communication and mass participation in the 2011 Census
  • Working together with multi-sectoral stakeholders will ensure cooperation and sustain our communication initiatives until after the 2011 Census
  • Everybody living in Mpumalanga is urged to become an active participant in the campaigns and stakeholder engagements.
  • Stats SA has well trained enumerators to interact with people in all official languages and they will treat you with our spirit of ubuntu.

Let me conclude by taking this opportunity to officially launch the Population Census 2011 in Mpumalanga.

I thank you

Issued by: Mpumalanga Office of the Premier

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