The lack of verification of the results of the 6th national census by a third party audit shows the lack of planning on part of the government. It another example of how initiatives undertaken without careful planning and due to lack of prioritisation, end up compromising on the outcome that was promised initially. The Council of Common Interests (CCI) gave the third party audit a green signal back in November 2017. Six months have gone by and no action has been. The audit would have taken only two months to complete but the sluggishness of our admin is no secret.

While finishing the process – formalities and tender period included - in the small and strict time frame before the elections was always a difficult task, but the lack of foresight on part of the government is disappointing. Now there will always be room left to question the veracity of the census.

A third-party audit is a legal requirement. If it is not fulfilled, the results of the census are prone to manipulation. Many parties criticised the initial provincial census results. They argued that the statistics were not in line with their expectations. The way to test these claims was a third party audit but the government has no time left for it now. This will become a point of contention and a reason for many to point out discrepancies in the results.

One of the reasons why the process could not be completed was due to political distractions. This goes to show how political developments cripple the performance of the organs of the government and processes are delayed because of the clash between parties. This is not the first time processes are brought to a stop due to lack of focus of those in charge. After the ousting of the former Prime Minister (PM), the focus of the lawmakers of the ruling party has been on establishing the relevance of the former PM. This has taken away the focus from actual policy work.

The irony is that there is no accountability of this process. The verification of the census results was a minor glitch in the process and could have been overcome, especially when other major problems have been dealt with. The federal government needs to address the issue, take ownership and provide a plausible solution to address the problem.