The South African Census 2021 Trial, scheduled to run from today until 6 September 2020, in selected areas around the country, will test online and telephonic data gathering to prepare for remote data collection in the upcoming Census 2021.

Census 2021 is the first population count to introduce digital census-taking using online and telephonic data collection platforms, which will also allow respondents to complete the census questionnaire on their own.

The telephonic data collection makes provision for respondents to participate in the census with the assistance of a Stats SA call centre agent. The increased use of cell phones and the current technology-driven digital era will minimise the challenge of reaching hard to access communities, thus allowing more people to participate in the census.

Respondents will be required to register through a platform that is available on Stats SA online and social media platforms. A census provides small area data on demographics, socio-economic and living conditions of the population.

It assists with forming the basis for active community participation in reviewing access to public services among other issues. Data collected through a census is used by the government and different sectors of society for policy-formulation, decision making and planning.

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