Deputy Minister for the Presidency Pinky Kekana has urged residents of Delft in the Western Cape to stand up and be counted in the next census to help the government better plan service delivery.
Just over 24 hours before President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to deliver his State of the Nation (SONA) address, Kekana visited the area to raise awareness about the 2022 census and explain to residents how it will help the government to get the information it needs to plan for services proportional to population.
“Every SONA as a government we run outreach programs just to hear the feelings and get feedback from people on what the president should focus on. But [tomorrow’s] SONA is also coupled with the 2022 census and one of the areas we are focusing on is Delft, which came into being in 1989 and at that time it [was a population of 25 000].
“Today we’re talking to the region of over 100,000. And then it comes down to the planning part – are we providing services to them? Have we anticipated this growth? Surely the census is becoming relevant. Household counts will help us to say now that Delft has a hospital, is it able to provide services to all our people?”
Located on the outskirts of Cape Town, not far from Cape Town International Airport, Delft is a diverse township that is also known for several government projects, including the N2 Gateway human settlements project.
When Kekana arrived at the police station in Delft, she spoke to the census volunteers before interacting with the residents of the nearby hospital, shopping center and then was to visit the residents of Simphony, which is the part principal part of the N2 Gateway pilot project.
Speaking to the media later, Kekana explained the importance of residents’ participation in the upcoming census.
“You were with us in the hospital, people are queuing outside. And you know the winter rains in Cape Town are rainy, how will that be as we enter winter ?
“Now the #GetCounted will also help us plan accordingly to say that the fact that Delft has grown exponentially means that the hospital alone will not be able to serve these people.
“The only police station that is there, of course we are aware of the challenges that COVID-19 has brought, the shrinking tax office and other realities. But there are other realities of growing communities in the region.
“People are leaving agricultural areas and coming to where there are job opportunities. There is only one shopping center, and they even say that many people have even given up looking for jobs. So, the counting process will also help us to get authentic information which helps us to plan accordingly.Thus, the timing for us for the census will also meet the challenges.
(With contributions from the South African government press release)