19 June 2009
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is to broaden the scope of data and information it collects in order to respond to the planning needs of the new government, says Statistician-General Pali Lehohla.
Reporting to Parliament in Cape Town this week, Lehohla said: “We need to dispassionately look at what is produced by Stats SA and how it relates to the new mandate and trajectory of the country.”
Input and planning
He said this meant going beyond statistics that respond to business cycles and economic structure, monitoring and evaluation to a statistical system that also looks at input and planning.
“The organisation has to be introspective when considering the nature of its relationship with what the state needs to deliver and how it is going to organise itself in the immediate to medium-term future,” he said.
The production of statistics for informing planning, decision-making as well as monitoring and assessing policies was an integral part of the legislative mandate of Stats SA, he added.
Lehohla said the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures prices at factory gates and tracks movement in prices of producers for a part of the economy, was also to be improved so as to overcome existing methodological limitations.
An up-to-date database of all dwellings as well as other structures in the country also is expected to be completed.
Census readiness test
Stats SA is also to conduct a pilot census in 489 enumerator areas to test its readiness for census 2011.
Parliament was also informed that international statistical specialists will come to South Africa in August for the International Statistical Institute’s first bi-annual conference on sub-Saharan African soil.