Statistics South Africa Census 2022 – 1st Digital Census

Nov 6, 2023

Statistics South Africa Census 2022 – 1st Digital Census

Statistics South Africa Census 2022 – Unpacking this exciting milestone for our Country and looking at Insights and Implications for South Africa.

Census 2022 Celebrating a Milestone:

South Africa’s First Digital Census
Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) recently unveiled the results of Census 2022, marking a critical moment for our nation. Not only does this milestone celebrate the successful completion of our first digital census, but it also places South Africa among the few countries globally recognized for transparent census results and comprehensive data collection. The feat of conducting such a large-scale operation, which incorporated internationally recognized methodologies and independent quality assurance, deserves commendations. This is an achievement worth noting as it underscores our commitment to being an evidence-driven society, aiming for a better understanding of our progress towards developmental goals.

The National Snapshot: Population Growth and Development Indicators

With the release of the initial findings from Census 2022, we’re provided with a national and provincial overview that illustrates our growth trajectory and shines a light on the socio-economic landscape of South Africa. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Population Dynamics and Distribution

  • South Africa’s population now exceeds 62 million, with Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal home to over 44% of residents.
  • Five provinces, including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo, have seen a population growth of over 20% since the last census.
  • This surge has significant implications for the demand for services and resources, necessitating strategic planning and potential trade-offs in service provision.
Statistics South Africa Census 2022

Households and Living Conditions

  • There are around 17.8 million households with an average size of 3.5 persons. However, there are notable provincial differences, such as Gauteng’s smaller average household size of 2.8 persons.
  • Gender dynamics vary too, with KwaZulu-Natal reporting 53% of households headed by women, contrasted by 46% in Gauteng.

Service Delivery and Infrastructure

  • Service delivery has improved remarkably across the board since 2011:
    • Access to piped water is now at 91.3%.
    • Flush toilets are available to 71% of households.
    • Electricity access has reached 94.7%.
    • The internet is accessible to 79% of households, a substantial increase from 35.2% in 2011.

Addressing Urbanisation and Service Disparities

South Africa’s urban landscape is highly differentiated, with the largest 20 municipalities now accounting for 53% of the population and 57% of the households. The census data reveal changes that are indicative of urban growth challenges but also show progress, such as the increase in formal housing and access to flush toilets across municipalities.

The Path Forward: Equitable Service Delivery and Infrastructure Investment

While the improvements in service delivery are praiseworthy, there is an urgent need to escalate infrastructure renewal and maintenance. Sustainable resource management and long-term planning are critical to meet the increasing demands for water and energy.

Call to Action for Municipalities and Government

  • Municipal infrastructure spending on repairs and maintenance needs a substantial increase from the current 3% of PPE expenditure.
  • Capital expenditure levels in municipalities are declining, a trend that requires immediate attention.
  • Enhancing technical and professional competencies in all spheres of government is non-negotiable to combat the negative perception affecting government employment choices.

Looking Ahead with Optimism

As we envision the next census a decade from now, it is imperative that we collaborate to maintain the momentum of development. The information provided by Census 2022 is a powerful tool for measuring policy performance and guiding the equitable distribution of resources. It is upon us all to use this evidence to guide our country towards greater heights of service delivery and prosperity.

By leveraging the comprehensive data from Census 2022, we can not only celebrate our achievements but also critically address the challenges ahead, ensuring that South Africa’s growth is inclusive and sustainable for all its people.