Demography

How accurate is our migration data?

Susan Ziehl, Cape Town on 7 June 2016
Reads 2,458

The reliability of Census data on demography and migration comes under attack periodically. This article sheds light on the reliability of survey results with respect to migration into the Western Cape. Census data and two independent studies are compared and the convergence or divergence of the findings assessed. There is greater consistency for more aggregate-level measures than for disaggregated measures (whether by geographical unit or by race). Such comparisons of surveys are important for gauging the reliability of our knowledge of migration.

More financial aid is not the best way to close the racial gap in tertiary education

David Lam, University of Michigan on 18 June 2014
Reads 5,999

South Africa’s large racial gap in enrolment in tertiary education can be attributed to the widely varying quality of primary and secondary education rather than to the low incomes of most black and coloured households. Thus, easing credit constraints for prospective tertiary students via increased financial aid is expected to have a limited impact on African and coloured enrolment. Instead, policymakers should focus on improving educational quality at schools attended by children from low-income households.

What caused the increase in unemployment in the late 1990s? Were education policies partly responsible?

Rulof Burger, University of Stellenbosch on 17 September 2013
Reads 8,479

In the late 1990s the Department of Education restricted the re-enrolment of over-aged learners and the number of times underperforming learners could repeat a grade. This was intended to reduce the number of learners in the school system, but may have contributed to a sudden increase in measured unemployment. Of the 2.3 million increase in the number of unemployed between 1997 and 2003, up to 900 000 may be due to unintended effects of these policies which brought hidden (youth) unemployment into the open.