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Be counted in census or go to jail for 6 months. The choice bis yours

The government has decreed that South Africans who have no access to technology and are forced to meet Stats SA enumerators in person for the census. The census is set start in February.

People around the country have a choice of participating in the counting in public places. You could be counted in churches or shops if they fear they will become a victim of crime in their home.

The government has also said it is compulsory for every person to be counted. The statistics act imposes a R10 000 fine or a six-month prison sentence on anyone who refuses to participate in the counting.

A concern has been prevailing pertaining to the high crim rate which may discourage people from allowing enumerators into their homes. Some are concerned that they may let in criminals disguised in Stats SA uniforms.

The government has also made provision for people living on farms and rural areas where people have no internet connection so that physical counting will take place there.

Spokesperson for Stats SA Trevor Oosterwyk said people would not have to complete the questionnaire inside their homes and could do so at their gates, or go to a church or a shop nearby in order to protect from opportunistic criminals.

Oosterwyk said Stats SA had been establishing long-term relationships with crime-prone farmers and their unions. This is so that it would be easy to arrange for enumerators to visit them in their areas.

In his words he said, “People are scared of crime,” he said, “and our enumerators can be identified by their clothing and an identity number that can be verified with us. A picture of the enumerator can also be downloaded from our website.

He added that “However, it’s rare that we have people unwilling to participate.”

People must be willing to participate, or face jail time.

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Oosterwyk South Africans Stats Stats SA Trevor Oosterwyk

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