Credible statistics are necessary to ensure a better life for all South Africans, said Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma tabled the budget vote for Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.
Dlamini-Zuma said it is important to ensure the work of Stats SA remains relevant, and that policymakers and implementers use the data produced to inform decisions.
“Citizens must also know their country and understand the dynamic.” An informed citizenry is a reflection of a true democracy, Dlamini-Zuma said.
“Without good statistics the policy development, planning and decision-making process is a blind one. We cannot learn from our mistakes and the public cannot hold us accountable. Statistics allow us to understand and learn from the past.”
Dlamini-Zuma stressed that good statistics provide a road map for government to continue with programmes that work, and guidance to cut government expenditure on ineffective policies.
She added that the measures and facts should not be meaningless but must be able to relate to human life.
Poverty declined from 51% to 36.4% between 2006 and 2011, Dlamini-Zuma noted. However, it had risen to 40% in 2015.
The Gini coefficient, which measures inequality, is at 0.67, among the worst in the world. The wealth inequality index is at 09, which shows South Africa is one of the most skewed societies in the world.
“Credible statistics can therefore not be separated from the total emancipation of people,” said Dlamini-Zuma. Statistics should be a guide to ensure progress and a better life for humanity. — Fin24