By Ebi Kesiena
President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed that his government will implement evidence-driven policies to drive economic growth and create jobs even as South Africa’s population has increased by 10.3 million since 2011.
This comes as Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) released on Wednesday, the results of its Census 2022, showing that the population of South Africa increased from 51.7m in 2011 to more than 62m in 2022; a growth rate of 1.8% in the intercensal period.
StatsSA said 50.5 million of South Africa’s population were black Africans.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Union Buildings, Ramaphosa commended StatsSA for placing an absolute quality on the credibility and integrity of the data and also adhering to international best practice.
Ramaphosa said this was South Africa’s first-ever digital census, compiled from data collected from everyone within the borders of the country, after StatsSA adapted to digitisation of the entire census process due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Using Census 2022 data, the President noted that the government can implement its program of action in a targeted, evidence-based way.
He said the Census 2022 gave the government the information it needs to implement its programme of action in a targeted, evidence-driven manner.
“The data contained in a census is one of the most crucial planning, monitoring and evaluation tools for governments. It informs the planning, budgeting and policy-making work of government at the most fundamental level.
“We have long said that one of our priorities in building a capable, ethical, developmental state is to ensure that policy-making is evidence-driven.
“Policy-making that is not informed by accurate data can result in inefficiency in the allocation of resources, under-estimation of the needs of citizens, poorly planned programmes and poor financial management,” Ramaphosa said.
However, this is the largest percentage change in population size since 1996.