The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber said the Census 2011 results released on Tuesday are valuable for all sectors and will enable the government to plan accordingly, using the findings of the recent population dynamics.
The province recorded the lowest population growth from 6.3m in 2001 to 6.6m in 2011. The province also had the highest number of people leaving it for other provinces.
Chamber CEO, Kevin Hustler, said: “The availability of the most accurate census in our country to date is a very valuable tool for the government, the private sector and civil society to understand the enormity of the challenges and priorities, which need to be addressed within our nation.”
Hustler said information was now available for analysis and a deep understanding of what we faced as a nation moving forward.
“It is a powerful instrument for the government to utilise in the engagement of civil society and the private sector to leverage and harness existing resources and align them to the key areas of need and priority to uplift the broader community and focus on job creation and poverty alleviation, as well as disparity in service delivery throughout our country,” Hustler said.
The official rate of unemployment in the province is now at 37.4% and the expanded unemployment rate is 51.2%, which is the highest in the country.
DA provincial leader, Bobby Stevenson, said: “We have the highest number of households with no access to piped water, the highest number of households that rely on rivers and streams as their main source of water, the highest number of households who have no toilets and the highest number of households that rely on animal dung as an energy source for cooking.”
Hustler said as organised business, they welcomed this body of work and encouraged government to utilise the knowledge in line with the national development plan.