The Statistician-General of South Africa, Dr Pali Lehohla, today presented the Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) annual report for the financial year 2015/2016 to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. The annual report shows that Stats SA had obtained yet another clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General.
Dr Lehohla also announced Stats SA’s recent move to its new green building which is situated in the vicinity of the Freedom Park in Salvokop, Tshwane. The move is a momentous occasion for the organisation as the building houses its entire head office staff compliment, ensuring that the operations of this organisation continue to be efficient. This resulted in improved efficiency and cost reduction as the organisation eliminated rental fees of four buildings across Tshwane.
The organisation’s current focus on statistical reform and strengthening statistical co-ordination as well as advancing the country towards embracing the data revolution age among other priorities, will be highlighted as Stats SA leads preparations for the country to host the United Nations (UN) World Data Forum next year. This will be the first ever UN congregation of digital revolution experts.
Stats SA has started with the planning for a National Citizen Satisfaction Surveys (CSS), following the successful conclusion of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) CSS last year. In conjunction with other surveys, the CSS is instrumental in providing a statistical information frame for coherent policy decisions by the state.
The Community Survey (CS 2016) conducted earlier this year signifies the organisation’s awareness and embrace of the digital revolution that is upon us hence the survey boasted a paperless data collection through the use of mobile devices – which tremendously reduced the turnaround time for the release of the results. The CS 2016 which is the second largest undertaking after a census required that some priorities be shifted in order to ensure that there are sufficient resources to conduct the survey.
The Statistician-General also indicated that Stats SA continues to measure changes in the economy through periodic indicators in the areas of trade and industry, price stability, government and financial statistics, private financial statistics and national accounts. The organisation also measures changes in society through statistics focused on the following areas: poverty and inequality, labour, health and vital statistics, as well as social and population statistics.
The organisation continues in its quest to champion transformation and inclusivity by ensuring that it recruits and retains a staff complement that is representative of the South African population.
Currently, nearly half (40,7%) of senior managers are female and about 1,2% of all employees are people living with a disability. As at the end of the financial year, the organisation had a vacancy rate of 8, 8%.
Only less than one percent of high impact organisational targets were not achieved in the 2015/2016 financial year. This was largely due to lack of resources as these were reprioritised to the Community Survey.
In order to comply with the Constitutional Court judgement that Stats SA should assist the Independent Electoral Commission with electorate addresses, the organisation is in the process of utilising its expertise on the use of spatial geography technology to ensure that there are addresses for all eligible voters.
Stats SA has taken over the measurement of the expenditure side of the gross domestic product (GDP) which has for many years been the mandate of the Reserve Bank. Dr Lehohla, together with the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Mr Lesetja Kganyago, released the first GDP report comprising both the expenditure and production sides for first quarter of 2016 in June.
Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Government Communication and Information.
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