Johannesburg – The Census 2011 results will play an important role in planning for development in the North West, provincial premier Thandi Modise said on Thursday.
“It is very important for us to read and understand the population of the province so that we spend wisely the money allocated to us by the national government,” she said.
“We need to know the population of the people that we are serving as government because the money given to us must be spent prudently.”
She said the census also highlighted that the province had more young people than older people.
Modise said the government must focus on spending more money to improve the life of its citizens.
The census results released by Statistics SA showed an increase of 9.2 percent in primary education enrolment – from 86 percent in the 2001 census to 93.9 percent recorded during Census 2011 – for children between the six and 13 years.
Statistician general Pali Lehohla said more efforts should be put on education if government was serious about a better future for the country.
He raised a concern that few pupils were taking mathematics and science.
“We need to encourage our children to take mathematics and science because failure to do so will result in our country not having skilled engineers,” he said.
Census 2011 confirmed that the province was home to more than 3.5 million people, a figure that had grown from a total of two million in the 1996 census 1996. Unemployment dropped from 43.9 percent in 2001 to 32.6 percent in 2011.
Unlike most provinces which lost a lot of people migrating to live in Gauteng, North West province was able to keep its population. This was mainly due to the mining and agricultural activities happening in the province.
The Census revealed that 79 percent of its population were born in the province.
The province gained about five percent of the population from Gauteng, four percent from outside South Africa and around three percent from Free State and Eastern Cape.
In addition, the Census 2011 showed that the number of households had grown from 81 633 in 1996 to one million in the 2011 Census.
Modise welcomed the release of the census results as a helpful set of data that would assist in effectively planning for the needs of the people. – Sapa