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Stats SAFin24 reports that the SA Statistics Council, an advisory body that endorses the releases of data by Statistics SA, has threatened to resign as a measure of last resort if the national statistical agency does not receive more funding and fill frozen posts.  

The council, which is appointed by the minister in the presidency, advises the minister and Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke on issues concerned with the production and use of official statistics.  The council also endorses statistics produced by Stats SA.  "Stats SA right now is at a tipping point.  The warning lights are flashing red, and government needs to act swiftly if South Africa is to retain a robust and innovative Stats SA," said Professor David Everatt, the council's chairperson, in a statement.  He indicated that in 2015 Stats SA had had R160m stripped from its budget, while all its posts were frozen.  He went on to indicate:  "Both (measures) have remained in place since that point.  By early 2020, the situation has reached crisis point.  The vacancy rate has climbed to almost 20% - that is, every 5th position is vacant, and many staff are thus taking on their own job and work that should be done by others."  Due to staff shortages, working a six or seven day week is common.  The freeze on posts means that no promotions are possible and no vacancies can be filled.  Everatt stated that if Stats SA was not able to "fill posts with skilled people, keep sample sizes up, and innovate", the council would be "forced to withdraw support for official statistics".

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard at Fin24


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