Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has announced the suspension of in-person data collection after President Cyril Ramaphosa this week moved the country to Adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown.
The move comes three months after the national statistical agency resumed limited field visits across the country after these were stopped in March last year.
“All face-to-face data collection methods are suspended as part precautionary measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19. The rising infections require all of us to remain vigilant and follow all the protocols,” said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke.
Meanwhile, Stats SA has also taken a decision to delay the start of Pilots Census enumeration.
However, telephonic data collection for all household surveys in order to provide credible statistics to the nation will continue.
“We cannot overstate the importance of continuing with data collection. Our data ensures that evidence based decision-making is used in policy formulation,” said Maluleke.
The agency, will instead use alternative interviewing methods, including computers-assisted telephonic interviewing (CATI) and computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI). This will protect both households and field workers against COVID-19 infection.
Stats SA in the statement appealed to sampled households to cooperate with the National Statistics office by participating in all statistical surveys.