Budget Debate Vote Speech
By Hon. EM Buthelezi
Spokesperson on Statistics South Africa
Delivered at Parliament in E249
We live in a very digital world, where information is constantly changing the face of the world. Many industries use data for their core functions. Statistics South Africa is very useful for this. It serves as the official statistic hub and it is through the work of this institution that the information which they collate into commendable reports is used to conduct business in our country.
The work of Statistics South Africa is incredibly important as it is the custodian of all raw data and analysis which inform the very work we do as Members of Parliament.
The census is definitely important. Our whole representative democracy is based on it. It ensures that each community gets the right number of representatives in government because representation is based on population and therefore an up-to-date tally is crucial - accuracy being of the utmost importance in this regard for effective governance.
Honorable Chairperson, it also helps with the equitable distribution of public funds including educational programs, healthcare, law enforcement and highways. It is therefore particularly important that the Department makes considerable efforts to ensure that they improve in accurately capturing and producing population and social statistics in rural and under developed areas so as to inform the relevant Departments of the depth and breadth of poverty stricken people in order to facilitate better service delivery.
Evidenced-based policy making remains key to this country’s success. However what is also key are the statistics consulted. One can find statistics to support almost any argument. Key would be to know which ones to consult and formulate government policy around, as we do live in an era of “fake news”.
The last census conducted in 2011 was a great success and we trust that the Department and DG’s are busy with their forward planning for the next census in 2021, and we look forward to hearing from the Minister in this regard.
Chair, in the words of Nelson Mandela an informed population is one of the surest ways of promoting the health of a democracy.
The Inkatha Freedom Party commends this Department and supports the budget vote.
I thank you.