War on Poverty survey – ANC election tool or census snub?

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Mpumalanga provincial government’s multi-million rand population survey seems to be either a vaguely disguised ANC election campaign tool or a complete disregard for the findings of Census 2011, and must be explained.

The survey, entitled War on Poverty Survey, seems to be a reincarnation of former president Thabo Mbeki’s 2008 survey aimed at improving service delivery, and will only generate information which is readily available on the outcomes of Census 2011. The DA can only presume that the provincial government doubts the findings of the census and have taken it upon themselves to verify the information contained in it.

Government intends to use the survey’s findings to inform future planning and expenditure patterns of the province. However, what is unclear is why are the questions similar to those of the population census if they were either inadequate, insufficient, or both.

The War on Poverty questionnaire contains 73 questions, of which 24 (33%) are exactly the same as Census 2011, 8 (11%) completely new, and 41 (56%) repetitive expansions of those asked in Census 2011.

In effect, the War on Poverty Survey is duplication on Census 2011, as roughly 80% of the information requested is already available, raising serious questions about the survey’s actual intention or purpose, and why government went to such costly lengths to commission it.

The DA believes that this survey is more than likely a short term job creation exercise, with the added intention of convincing voters that government is serious about bringing service delivery to the people and improving their lives.

The DA will closely monitor the implementation of this survey, the money being spent on it and how its outcomes are used to inform government decisions and planning.

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