South Africa: Minister Mthembu to Meet With Stats Council Amid Funding Concerns

20 February 2020

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu is set to meet with the South African Statistics Council later this week, in a bid to discuss funding concerns raised by the council.

"The Minister, Council and the Statistician-General will meet on Sunday, 23 February 2020, to further engage on ways to guarantee the integrity of the entire system of the nation's statistics, for the short and the long term within the constraints the national fiscus is faced with," the Minister's office said in a statement on Wednesday.

The meeting follows on the Council's media statement airing challenges faced by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

As in independent statutory body, the Council advises the Statistician-General, as well as the Minister, on matters of official statistics.

According to Mthembu's office, the Minister is aware of the lack of funding for Stats SA and he and the Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke have been in negotiations with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

"These negotiations [have] borne fruit in the sense that National Treasury has provided partial additional funding to Stats SA. The Statistician-General is currently looking at reprioritizations as a result of the allocation that will come into effect on 1st April 2020."

"The Minister appreciates Council's intention of keeping the integrity of the statistical system intact and is committed to working with Stats SA to protect the respected quality of our official statistics," said Mthembu's office.

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