Country Profile of South Africa
Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Statistics South Africa
Position in the government
The Head of Statistics South Africa reports to the Minister of Finance.
Organizational structure and finance
The Statistician-General leads the team. Statistics South Africa is divided into 5 departments: Economic Statistics, Population and Social Statistics, Quality and Integration, Statistical Support and Informatics, and Corporate Services.
Provincial and district offices provide fieldwork capacity for household surveys and censuses.
Multi-annual or annual work program
Work programme 2009/09 - 2010/11. Mult-annual work programmes are published on the website.
Stats SA aims to produce timely, accurate and accessible official statistics to help advance economic growth, development and democracy in the new South Africa.
We are committed to being:
o Relevant: providing the data, information and analysis required for implementing and monitoring the country's growth and development strategy.
o Reliable: producing authoritative statistical results on the basis of appropriate procedures that are sensitive to the diversity among our citizens.
o Representative: becoming an organization that increasingly matches the population with regard to population group, gender and physical disability.
o Responsive: meeting the statistical needs of our stakeholders in national, provincial and local government, labor and management, parastatals and research institutions, civil society and special interest groups.
Our work includes:
o Undertaking official demographic, economic and social censuses and surveys
o Collecting and processing administrative statistics
o Publishing and disseminating statistical reports and releases
o Compiling national and government accounts
o Providing statistical advice to government and other institutions
o Analyzing statistical surveys and samples to ensure accuracy and consistency.
The Act is called the Statistics Act, 1999. It covers purpose of the Act, status of Statistics, duties of the Minister, Appointment and Tenure of the Statistician General, Appointment and Tenure of Council, duties and powers of the Statistician General and that of Council, confidentiality and disclosure, offenses and penalties, entry on and inspection on premises.
No. and year of Act Short title
Act No. 66 of 1976 Statistics Act, 1976
Act No. 28 of 1978 Statistics Act, 1978, of the former entity known as Bophuthatswana
Act No. 15 of 1980 Statistics Act, 1980, of the former entity known as Transkei
Act No. 25 of 1986 Statistics Amendment Act, 1986
Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Reserve Bank, Treasury, Education, Health, Research agencies
Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
From: Statistics Act 1999
Establishment of Council
8. (1) A council to be known as the South African Statistics Council is hereby established.
(2) The Council must consist of not less than 18 and not more than 25 members -
(a) with relevant professional proficiency and interest;
(b) broadly representative of groups or interests concerned with the production and use of official statistics, including -
(i) organs of state;
(ii) producers of statistics;
(iii) organised business and labour;
(iv) specialist and research interests, including statistics and information technology;
(v) economic and financial interests;
(vi) demographic and social interests, including rural, gender and disability interests; and
(vii) the public, including non-governmental, private, civic and other organisations; and
(c) of whom nine must be persons representing the respective provinces.
(3) The Minister must, after consultation with the Cabinet, appoint the members of the Council from nominations obtained through -
(a) public invitations for nominations; and
(b) a request to the executive council of each province to submit two or three nominations.
(4) The Statistician-General is by virtue of his or her office a member of the Council and he or she or his or her representative may attend meetings of the Council, but may not -
(a) vote at such meetings; and
(b) act as chairperson or deputy chairperson.
(5) The Minister must appoint a member of the Council as chairperson.
(6) The Council must elect one of its members as deputy chairperson.
(7) If both the chairperson and deputy chairperson of the Council are unable to act as chairperson, the other members must designate one of their number to act as chairperson during such inability.
Tenure of members of Council
9. (1) The members of the Council hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, as the Minister determines in respect of each such member.
(2) An appointed member of the Council vacates office if -
(a) he or she resigns after giving 30 days notice in writing to the Minister;
(b) the period of his or her appointment expires; or
(c) his or her membership is terminated in terms of subsection (3).
(3) The Minister may, after consultation with the Cabinet, terminate the membership of any or all of the appointed members of the Council for reasons which are just and fair.
(4) A person whose membership of the Council has terminated, is eligible for reappointment.
(5) A vacancy on the Council must be filled in accordance with section 8(2) and (3).
(6) No deficiency in the number of members of the Council affects any decision taken at a meeting in terms of section 10(5) if at least one third of the appointed members were present at that meeting.
Meetings of Council
10. (1) The Council must meet at least twice a year at such times and places as the chairperson or deputy chairperson determines by notice in writing to the other members.
(2) The chairperson or deputy chairperson -
(a) may convene a special meeting of the Council;
(b) must convene such a meeting within 14 days of the receipt of a written request signed by at least one third of the members of the Council to convene such meeting.
(3) The quorum for a meeting of the Council is one third of the appointed members.
(4) The Council determines the procedure at its meetings.
(5) A decision of the Council must be taken by resolution of the majority of appointed members present at the meeting in question and, in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding has a casting vote in addition to his or her deliberative vote.
Committees of Council
11. (1) The Council may appoint such standing or other committees as are necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the Council.
(2) The members of a committee of the Council may include persons who are not members of the Council.
Remuneration of members of Council and its committees
12. A member of -
(a) the Council; or
(b) a committee of the Council, who is not in the full-time employment of the State is paid such remuneration and allowances as the Minister of Finance determines.
Duties and powers of Council
13. (1) The Council must advise the Minister, the Statistician-General or an organ of state which produces statistics with regard to -
(a) matters referred to the Council by the Minister, the Statistician-General or that organ of state;
(b) any matter regarding the collection, processing, analysis, documentation, storage and dissemination of statistics, including the taking of a population census, which should, in the opinion of the Council, be studied or undertaken;
(c) the elimination of unnecessary overlapping or duplication with regard to the collection or publication of statistics by organs of state;
(d) any matter the Council considers necessary or expedient for achieving the
purpose of this Act;
(e) the general appropriateness to the country's needs of the services provided by Statistics South Africa.
(2) The Council must promote and safeguard -
(a) official statistics;
(b) the co-ordination of statistical activities; and
(c) an environment which is supportive of the collection, production, dissemination and use of official statistics.
(3) The Council must furnish the Minister and Statistician-General with an annual report in respect of its activities, including its advice to the Minister and Statistician-General and the outcome of that advice, during the year in question, and the Minister must as soon as possible table that report in Parliament.
(4) The Council may issue public statements on any matter relating to its functions in terms of this Act, but only after consultation with the organ of state, business or other organisation involved, if any, in the matter in question.
(5) The Statistician-General must provide the Council with such secretarial and clerical assistance as is necessary for the effective performance of the functions of the Council.
The Statistics Council is established by statute as an advisory body that advises the Minister and the Statistician General. In addition to Statistics Council, there are other advisory committees that advise on content issues of various areas of statistics.
Most recent population census
10 October 2001
Access to administrative data
Statistics South Africa receives administrative data from other government agencies such as taxation information, liquidations and insolvencies of companies, marriages and divorces etc.
Data are anonymized and only a sample of records in their raw form are distributed. Releases are in aggregates and where there are possibilities for identifying individuals, random rounding techniques are implemented to prevent identification of individual records.
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
The advance release calendar is well developed for economic series. The important series have a release schedule that is available on the web for the next 12 month period. The release schedule for the other series on the web is available for the following week. The individual publications also publish the future release dates of the publication itself.
There is a publication that lists more than 118 products delivered by the organisation on an annual basis. More details can be found on the website.
Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Paper, CD Rom, Website
Availability of microdata for research purposes
We provide a ten percent sample for the census of the population.