Misleading information about Stats SA field staff
Owing to the nature of surveys we conduct, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) continuously engages with communities. We value and understand the importance of trust between the organisation and the communities we collect data from. An unfortunate incident recently occurred whereby Stats SA field staff were suspected of child trafficking by community members of Zone 20 in KwaLanga.
On 19 September 2019, two of our field staff were conducting their daily field visits in the Langa areas in Cape Town in an attempt to establish contact with a representative of the sampled household for data collection purposes. At the time of the incident, the fieldworkers were seen engaging a minor representative of the household, leading to the neighbour deducing that something suspicious was taking place. The neighbour alerted other residents who gathered around and threatened the safety of our field staff, leading to field workers finding refuge in one of the nearby houses until the arrival of the police.
The manner in which this incident was handled is regrettable, notwithstanding the reputational damage this is likely to cause. We are requesting that communities please check the credentials of any person who comes to their door. Stats SA field staff are issued with branded identity cards and field gear. Where possible, vehicles are also visibly branded.
Stats SA would like to inform the community that we are in field for the Census 2021 Mini Test from 09 October to 6 November. The list of areas that will be visited during this exercise are listed below.
In the event that communy members are doubtful of the legitimacy of the person at their door they are encouraged to reach out to the protection services and avoid acts of vigilantism.
We wish to reassure our communities that, as an organisation, we will do everything in our power to communicate with residents to announce our presence in their areas.
Source: Government of South Africa