WINDHOEK: The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has called on households to cooperate in the 2012 Labour Force Survey (LFS) currently underway to determine the official unemployment rate in the country.
The exercise commenced on 15 October and ends on 26 October 2012.
NSA Statistician-General John Steytler made the appeal during a joint media conference organised by the agency, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and Windhoek City Police on Wednesday.
“It has come to our attention that a few individuals are refusing our field workers access to their premises for this important exercise. Refusal to be interviewed by officially-appointed staff of the agency is a crime which may carry a fine, or imprisonment, or both,” he warned.
Steytler said the National Planning Commission (NPC) will determine the fine at a later stage.
In some cases reported, farmers have refused entry to officials, while some home owners and individuals have refused to be interviewed by the field workers.
Survey staff members and vehicles are identifiable with visible marks bearing the NSA logo and the National Crest.
Steytler said field workers also carry special identification cards.
The survey this year covers a sample of about 9 108 households countrywide, with more than 600 households in the city.
More than 475 field workers are employed during the exercise and more than 153 vehicles have been deployed throughout the country.
According to Steytler, criminals might seize the opportunity to camouflage themselves as officials from the agency, but assured the public that the agency is working closely with NamPol and in the case of Windhoek, the City Police to help in rooting out such criminal intentions.
At the same occasion, City Police Superintendent Karl-Marx Shikongo said the City Police is committed to the safety of both human and material resources during this exercise.
The public can contact any NamPol station, the City Police or NSA if he or she suspects any foul play, or send a short message service (SMS) to 4444.
“We want to appeal to the general public to give the best cooperation they can to the exercise since the information being collected is to plan for the betterment of everyone in the country, and particularly in helping policy makers measure their targets towards Vision 2030,” he added.
NSA is compiling the survey with the support of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
The NSA is a statutory body established in terms of the Statistics Act, 2011 (Act No.9 of 2011).
Of all national statistics, the unemployment rate produced by the LSF is one of the most widely used indicators of the health of the economy of Namibia and its labour market.