The low census turnout in WCape is still under study, says Gungubele

Mondli Gungubele. Image: GCIS

  • Presidential Minister Mondli Gungubele said the low turnout of Western Cape families at the census was not yet a cause for panic.
  • He said the government is evaluating the census results in the province, where only 70 percent of families participated.
  • Gungubele said the government will await completion of the process, quality assurance and profiles of respondents.

Presidential Minister Mondli Gungubele said the government is still evaluating the results of the South African national census in the Western Cape to see if the results are in line with international standards.

This comes after only 70% of Western Cape households responded and participated in the 2022 National Census, despite Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) introducing online and mobile platforms for families to provide feedback.

Low participation in the national census at any level represents a major challenge for the government in relation to the allocation of budgetary resources at the provincial level for the purpose of service delivery.

On Wednesday, the Statistics Council warned that low census participation in the Western Cape threatened to undermine the integrity of the 2022 census announcement will affect national budget allocations to the province, municipalities and district councils.

Gungubele told reporters in a post-cabinet briefing Thursday morning that the government would evaluate the findings comprehensively.

“The expert array will still be used to test the process and see if it has fallen short of international standards. After all of this is done, we will be able to make a decision on what needs to be done,” Gungubele said.

READ | SA’s unemployment statistics may be wrong, experts say

Gungubele said the low participation of Western Cape families was taken seriously by Stats SA and the government, but said the government would not jump the gun on the implications of voter turnout.

“I think we have expressed in the interim report how the census followed and reflected on the Western Cape. We will await the completion of the process, the quality assurance and the profiles of those who responded. We let the process go on because the council has yet to make the oversight, “he said.

Stats SA is putting out the fires on several fronts, as economists have also come out to suggest that there is a possibility that the unemployment data in the quarterly labor force survey for last year’s fourth quarter may be wrong.

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