Rolling blackouts, protests disrupting Census 2022 in parts of KZN

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Deputy Director-General for Operations at Statistic South Africa (Stats SA) Ashwell Jenneker says rolling blackouts and community protests in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal have disrupted the start of Census 2022.

The last Census in 2011 recorded over ten-million KwaZulu-Natal residents.

The closing date for household registration has been extended to Saturday, to allow people to select whether they would like to be counted in person or remotely.

Jenneker says rolling blackouts are also hampering data capturing in the field.

“There has been a couple of hiccups. We had Eskom starting with load shedding yesterday in some areas. We struggled with network in some towns as there were service delivery protests. We took our enumerators out of the field. When there is load shedding, we think about the safety of our workers, we are forced to track them out off the field and when devices do not work due to load shedding and the network, we go back to the homeless and the areas we have not covered.”

SABC News Reporter Jayed Leigh-Paulse speaks to Jenneker about Census 2022 operations from KwaZulu-Natal: 

Census at Correctional Services in Western Cape 

In the Western Cape, Correctional Services Commissioner Delekile Klaas says the criminal justice system will use the data collected from the Census at correctional facilities to plan for the housing of inmates.

Klaas says information collected can also assist with the development of crime prevention strategies, in communities that have large numbers of offenders.

He was speaking at the Goodwood Correctional Facility, where Stats SA is conducting a Census count.

“It would also assist us in terms of our planning and our strategies because when the majority are young people in our correctional facility, it says we must develop and improve our crime-fighting strategies in the communities. But it also says we may have to build additional correctional facilities. So, it assists not only us as Correctional Services to plan but the whole criminal justice value chain,” says Klaas.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government has urged its residents to cooperate with the Census counting as this will translate into fair budget allocations.

It says the unprecedented influx of citizens who have migrated to the province over the last ten years has put a strain on its resources.

More details in the report below: 

-Additional reporting by Corbin August