The primary objective of SASAS is to design, develop and implement a conceptually and methodologically robust study of changing social attitudes and values in South Africa to be able to carefully and consistently monitor and explain changes in attitudes amongst various socio-demographic groupings. The SASAS explores a wide range of value changes, including the distribution and shape of racial attitudes and aspirations, attitudes towards democratic and constitutional issues, and the redistribution of resources and power. Moreover, there is also an explicit interest in mapping changing attitudes towards some of the moral issues that confront and are fiercely debated in South Africa, such as gender issues, AIDS, crime and punishment, governance, and service delivery. The SASAS is intended to provide a unique long-term account of the social fabric of modern South Africa, and of how its changing political and institutional structures interact over time with changing social attitudes and values.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The units of analysis in the study are households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset available from an external repository
The thematic content of the survey includes democracy, identity, public services, social values, crime, voting, demographics, families and family authority
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is province
The population under investigation includes adults aged 16 and older in private households in South Africa
Producers and sponsors
Human Sciences Research Council
The South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) is a nationally representative survey series that has been conducted on an annual basis by the Human Sciences Research Council's (HSRC) since 2003. The survey has been designed to yield a representative sample of adults aged 16 years and older. The sampling frame for the survey is the HSRC's second Master Sample, which was designed in 2007 and consists of 1 000 primary sampling units (PSUs). The 2001 population census enumerator areas (EAs) were used as PSUs.
These PSUs (EAs) were drawn, with probability proportional to size, from a sampling frame created by Professor David Stoker containing all 80,787 of the 2001 EAs. This sampling frame uses the estimated number of dwelling units (DUs) in an EA (PSU) as a measure of size. The sampling frame was annually updated to coincide with StatsSA's mid-year population estimates in respect of the following variables: province, gender, population group and age group. In updating the 2007 version of this sampling frame, additional use was made of (a) the GeoTerraImage (GTI) residential structure count in all metropolitan EAs in 2004/2006 and (b) the ESKOM counts of dwelling units in all cities, towns, townships and villages.
The HSRC's second master sample excludes special institutions (such as hospitals, military camps, old age homes, school and university hostels), recreational areas, industrial areas, vacant EAs as well as the 1000 EAs included in the first HSRC's master sample (2003-2006). It therefore focuses on dwelling units or visiting points as secondary sampling units (SSUs), which have been defined as 'separate (non-vacant) residential stands, addresses, structures, flats, homesteads, etc.'.
For the 2010 SASAS round of interviewing, a sub-sample of 500 PSUs was drawn from the HSRC's 2nd Master Sample. Three explicit stratification variables were used, namely province, geographic type and majority population group. Within each stratum, the allocated number of PSUs was drawn using probability proportional to size sampling technique with the estimated number of dwelling units in the PSU as measure of size. In each of these drawn PSUs, 14 dwelling units were selected and systematically grouped into two sub-samples of seven, each corresponding to the two SASAS questionnaire versions.
Selection of individuals
Interviewers called at each visiting point selected from the 2nd HSRC master sample and listed all those eligible for inclusion in the sample, that is, all persons currently aged 16 or over and resident at the selected visiting point. The interviewer then selected one respondent using a random selection procedure based on a Kish grid.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The questions contained in SASAS questionnaire one for 2010 were asked of approximately 3500 respondents.
Topics included in the questionnaire are: democracy, national identity and pride, intergroup relations, education, health status and behaviour, moral issues, crime and safety, personal wellbeing index, poverty, public understanding of science, police confidence, Batho Pele, voting, demographics and other classificatory variables.
Following the data curation process the resulting data set has 3183 cases and 380 variables.
Accessible from the HSRC under conditions.
Any publication, whether printed, electronic or broadcast, based wholly or in part on these materials, should acknowledge the original data creators or copyright holders, the funders of the Data Collections (if different) to acknowledge Copyright where appropriate. Any publication, whether printed, electronic or broadcast, based wholly or in part on these materials should carry a statement that the original data creators or copyright holders and the funders of the Data Collections (if different) bear no responsibility for their further analysis or interpretation.
Human Sciences Research Council. South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) 2010. [Data set]. SASAS 2010 Questionnaire 1. Pretoria South Africa: Human Sciences Research Council, [producer and distributor], 2013.
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• the data and documentation will not be duplicated or distributed without prior approval from the HSRC,
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• the HSRC will be acknowledged in all published works based on the data and documentation
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