Statistics South Africa excludes LGBTQI+ groups in census

Statistics South Africa excludes LGBTQI+ groups in census

Statistics South Africa launched the country’s fourth census on Thursday, February 3rd. The census plays a role in public administration, according to the national statistical bureau. Unfortunately, there are just two sex possibilities for the LGBTQI+ community: male or female.
This excludes transgender and intersex individuals. Mpho Buntse, a spokeswoman for Access Chapter 2 (AC2), told MambaOnline that this was a “planned attack” on the LGBTQI+ community.
Stats SA’s Census 2022 form excludes transgender and intersex people and only allows for two options in the gender section, male or female. According to MambaOnline, this was confirmed by Stats SA’s acting deputy director-general Nozipho Tshabalala.

“The sex question refers to the biological makeup of a person or the sex that is assigned at birth. That is what we are covering in Census 2022.”

The questionnaire also does not include questions about sexual orientation.
LGBTQI+ group Iranti has regarded the census as “unconstitutional” as its “design is premised on exclusion”.

“And if a census excludes a significant population such as the LGBTQI+ community, then by its very nature it encourages the state to erase our very existence,” said Iranti executive director Jabu Pereira.


AC2 communication associate and spokesperson Mpho Buntse said Census 2022 was a “deliberate attack” on the constitution and the LGBTQI+ community.

“We are extremely angered by Stats SA’s gender binary stance towards its Census 22 campaign. The credibility of the institution is mired by obvious prejudice and bias against other identities,” Buntse told MambaOnline.
“We assert… that this census is not the true representation of the South African population as it pertains to those who are gender non-conforming and non-binary in the spectrum.”


Speaking to Eyewitness News, Stats SA communication manager, Trevor Oosterwyk acknowledged the comments made by the LGBTQI+ groups. He added that Stats SA would meet with them in March.

“It is true that we do not ask questions, but we do know we have a binary definition of sex and that’s not enough. That is essence comparable to all the other census we have done so that the data can compare over time.”

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