Stats SA entrusts Census to SkyNet

The 2011 Census, managed by Statistics South Africa, has come and gone, but few of us realise what a sizeable and important undertaking the Census really is. Over 22 million households were visited by over 150,000 field workers, with the total cost of the project exceeding R1bn. The fact that there have been so few hitches prove that the logistics behind this massive undertaking ran smoothly.

In a post-apartheid South Africa, it is more important than ever to understand the nature of the nation's progress. Knowing our shortcomings is the first step to overcoming them. The Census provides the most comprehensive picture of South Africa today, and government’s objective is to use these critical statistics to measure ten years of progress from the results of the previous Census in 2001. By doing this they can shift course in the right direction and become more accurate in the delivery of services.

The logistical planning for the exercise was meticulous. This included the mapping of the entire country into manageable zones, the conducting of a comprehensive awareness campaign, canvassing households to participate, collecting individual information from as many households (legal or otherwise) as possible, and analysing the results.

The sheer scope of the project required a courier that had the infrastructure, the fleet and the track record to ensure efficient transportation and security in the delivery of millions of national documents. Without a reputable and trustworthy courier facilitating this process, the Census could have failed.

As one of the largest and most empowered courier companies in South Africa, SkyNet was the ideal choice in courier partner. With an extensive fleet and an integrated network of cross-docking facilities, the company delivers and collects from over 450 towns daily. It was clearly well poised to manage the 2011 Census distribution effort.

“We are proud to have worked with Stats SA on the Census. We really believe in its underlying goals and their trust in us is based on our successful handling of national projects of this magnitude in the past through the distribution and collection of items for the elections with the IEC and the collection and distribution of exam papers for UNISA,” says Ken Light, Executive Head at SkyNet.

As the Census was conducted by Stats SA, a government department, it was critical to partner with a courier that had the right empowerment credentials. As a Level 3 BEE courier, SkyNet's credentials matched those required for a government sponsored endeavour such as this.

But empowerment credentials don't necessarily make for a competent courier. SkyNet is backed by the most extensive independently owned distribution network in the world. A solid domestic infrastructure, consisting of a fleet of over 800 dedicated short-haul vehicles and over 35 distribution hubs countrywide, catered for the delivery and collection of the extremely large volume of Census documents.

“We devoted 100 vehicles to the Census project and put in over 1,500 man hours. It is our hope to continue our work with the government as we consistently prove our worth,” says Light.