A zoom into South Africa

What’s making news on the African continent; we are zooming into South Africa. Statistics South Africa is a globally recognised centre of excellence for producing official statistics. Stats SA is the only source of official statistics in South Africa. However, in 2015 Stats SA had R160 million stripped from its budget and a freeze on all posts was imposed by government. Both 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; working a 6 or even 7 day week is common. The freeze on posts means that no promotions are possible, and no vacancies can be filled. Here is an interview with the former SG at Stats SA Dr Pali Lehlohla.