South Africa undertakes its most important census since 1994

Source: David Everatt, The Conversation, 4 February 2022, photo credit: 123RF/tonefotografia

Statistics South Africa has embarked on its once-a-decade process to count all people in the country – including non-citizens. Census 2022 is arguably the most important in the country since the first post-apartheid census in 1996

That census was the first time since the end of apartheid in 1994 that all South Africans were counted. Under apartheid, fictitious “homelands” excluded millions of people from the count. Excluding them allowed the apartheid government to deny their rights, and responsibility for meeting their needs – by not counting them, the apartheid government ensured that they did not count, for anything.

Homelands or Bantustans were ten mainly rural, underdeveloped areas where black South Africans were required to live and have nominal “self-rule” and “independence”, along ethnic group lines, separate from whites. They had their own censuses.

The 1996 census was a vital tool to inform every government department, economic entity, and every citizen, about the state of the nation, the depth of need, and the location of needs to be met. While it is a legal obligation for everyone to complete a census form, the 1996 census saw a real willingness to participate and to get counted – from a newly liberated population, still basking in the post-apartheid moment.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.