"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Census details

We have just had our most recent population census take place.  Well, sort of.  For there are many reports of people who haven't been counted...

But, following the census, this article appeared in our weekend newspaper:
I reckon that if there was ever time and a reason to be growing your own produce, and, where possible, raising your own livestock - even if it's just for their milk / eggs / etc. then I'd say, given the above, that time is now.
Funny enough, one of the questions asked of RMan when he answered the doorbell was: "Do you have a veggie patch?"  Bear in mind that this census took place at our 'town house', and, RMan, mindful of what I have read (and shared with him) from overseas blogs, answered, "No".  Why, I asked him? His reply to me: "Well, it's not 'my' (his) veggie patch" (so he wasn't technically lying).  But the question struck him as strange.  So he now thinks that the government may try and tax us on our potential additional "privilege" (as is happening overseas where small time growers (as opposed to full-on farmers)  have to have a permit to grow crops for their own consumption / bartering), etc...?


I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories, and was a trifle miffed that my veggie patch wasn't included in the census LOL, but with all things, I guess time will tell.

But interestingly, they didn't even ask if we have / use any alternative source of power - i.e. wind turbine / solar water heater / power / oven, in order to ascertain if you are part of the growing group of people who are trying to become self-sufficient, and are trying to reduce your dependency on the parastatals.  A far more pertinent question I would have thought, and one which may have given the government information regarding it's ongoing power supply shortfall and electrical power production planning.

And the answers to the questions were recorded in pencil!?  Dunno - have they done away with erasers....????

It thus appears that the results of the census, which are going to be available only next November (2012) will be terribly flawed.  Reckon (given all I have heard about vast numbers not being counted) that it was an unmitigated waste of time, energy and fuel.  The only one's who've gained are the printers of the question sheets, those individuals who have been paid to "walk" the streets for 6 weeks with pencils in hand, and, finally, the people who are now going to be employed for over a year, to assess the information on 40-odd million forms...

I wonder if they have heard of computers....?


tami said...

Interesting observations, Dani. I find it interesting that they asked about the veggie patch and that they didn't ask about your energy sources. (Yet) Everything is about money with the govmt isn't it? I read things like this and always remember the movie "Solent Green". (No food. We're eating each other.)

Linda said...

I'm LOVING following your blog! Gee Wizz! After reading this I'm wondering if the governments have really got a handle on things? LOL!!!

Dani said...

Tami - Money, money, money, ain't it funny, it's a rich man's (or government's) world... Sickening actually.

Haven't seen Solent green. YET. LOL

Linda - LOL. Thanks :) I reckon there isn't a government in the world which isn't corrupt / hasn't an ulterior motive / isn't feathering their members individual nests. In October, our government declared a ZAR13 billion rand mid term budget shortfall. (http://mg.co.za/article/2011-10-28-more-taxing-times-ahead/)

How can this happen?!

I believe that we HAVE to take care of ourselves, lighten our spending load, and invest in our individual futures, if we're going to survive.

Jane said...

Hey I am happy to see people still know how to use pencil and paper! I hate the fact that everything is on a computer and no one can ever do anything without the computer. So much private information on computers and look how many clerks can not make change unless the computer tells them how much. Sigh

Dani said...

Jane - I agree with you. But, Ha!, using a pencil means, with the aid of an eraser, they can change the data they're collecting...! How viable is that data then? And now they want to / need to spend an entire year collating the data they have "collected" (sic). If they had collected it via a handheld device which could then be downloaded to a mother computer, the reconciliation of it would be far speedier and there could be no capturing errors.

Mr. H. said...

A permit to grow crops for ones own consumption...I'll have to read up on that. Anyway, I'm with RMan, tell them as little as possible.

Leigh said...

Interesting post Dani. Governments worldwide seem to becoming less and less trustworthy. And with Monsanto looking to become a worldwide monopoly, those kinds of questions are extremely suspicious. As recently as WWII, it was considered a citizen's patriotic duty to have a garden. Now we seem to be on the verge of it being a crime.

Mrs. Mac said...

Interesting. For our last census I only filled out how many people resided at home. It asked for cell phone numbers and all sorts of stupid questions. Then hubby informed me last week that someone (a census worker) had called him at home and he answered their questions. BOY WAS I MAD!

Basic human rights (growing your own food from seeds that you save) should not be entangled with a tax or regulation on your own property.

I fear we (the people/worker ants) are nothing more than cash (tax) cows for the grasshoppers (gov't) .. much like in the Disney movie 'A Bug's Life' .. One day the ants will find their unified voice and be heard.

Dani said...

Mr H - I have links regarding this happening in the US - I must just find them.

Leigh - Yup, guess anything that could reduce the income into the government coffers is going to become an ever growing crime...

Mrs Mac - LOL Leave it to a man - they don't know how to duck a question.

I agree, providing for yourself through growing food crops should NEVER be regulated.

Elephant's Eye said...

My experience was different. Spent some time talking to the woman who recorded our details. I chose not to declare our annual income, and a whole swathe of questions went unanswered - which is what they were told to do. No veg queries for us!

She explained that they are having difficulties recording data on the white side of town, people refuse. That rests on individual shoulders, neither the government nor the census workers. Walking around town, my husband sees how few houses bear (we were counted) census stickers on their postbox.

They had already done the farms up on the mountain, but 500 seasonal workers were coming. They will go back to record them.

And the pencil. She asked where we lived for the previous census, then carefully wrote Cams Bay. No it's CamPs Bay. Which, being in pencil, was duly corrected.

She works a long day, and people are rude. I'm sorry.

celia said...

Interesting post! We've just had a census here in Australia, and for the first time were given the option to lodge online (the census is always completed by the household and then submitted, so the only people who come around are to drop the forms off and pick them up again).

Dani said...

Elephant's Eye - Interesting that you had no veg garden questions! How can they have a census with different focuses of inquiry?

Yeah, I've also heard about refusals. Looks like the refusals are going to be charged with non-compliance or some such like. I thought the sticker on the mailbox was a quick, clever way of identifying who had been counted.

Our lady also worked a long day. And I'm not ranting against the enumerators at all. I'm just completely confused as to how the process has been handled, and, if you were asked different questions, what our government wanted to actually count...?

Celia - Welcome :) That sounds an interesting option. Reckon though we'd have a problem with all those who aren't computer literate / have access to a computer.