South Africa: StatsSA On Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown On the Collection and Publication of Official Statistics

press release

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA's) ability to publish official statistics will be impacted by the lockdown announced by President Ramaphosa. As most businesses will be closed over that period, and movement will be restricted, data collection for both economic and household surveys will not be possible.

As the lockdown goes into effect at midnight on 26 March 2020, economic and social releases scheduled for March have been brought forward to that date. The lockdown will result in changes to our scheduled release calendar for April. Please refer to the publication schedule on our website, www.statssa.gov.za, to keep track of these.

We will communicate in detail any data quality related issues as they arise. On the social statistics side, the current pandemic will not impact on the March to May releases as this fieldwork has already been completed. Data collection for all household surveys and some economic statistics may be affected if the lockdown is extended and we are unable to collect data.

"This lockdown is uncharted territory for all of us," said Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke. "In a country with a population as vulnerable as ours, it is important that we all cooperate with our Commander-in-Chief's call to stay home and protect each other from this virus."

"Stats SA understands the importance of producing reliable and accurate statistics for the country, especially in light of the need to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and society. Once the lockdown has been lifted, we will once again take up the task of data collection."

"I wish to pay special thanks to our respondents and users for their understanding."

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