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
religion and values [13.5]
social behaviour and attitudes [13.6]
The survey has national coverage.
The lowest level of geographic aggregation for the data is province.
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 has been designed to yield a representative sample of adults aged 16 and older. The sampling frame used for the survey is based on the set of the 80787 enumerator areas (EAs) as were designed for the 2001 Population Census. Estimates of the population numbers for various categories of the census variables were obtained per EA. These estimates were annually updated to coincide with StatsSA's midyear estimates in respect of the variables province, gender, population group and age-group. In the updating of the 2007 version of this developed sampling frame, in addition to StatsSA's 2007 released midyear estimates, use was also made of (a) the GeoTerraImage (GTI) structure count in all metro EAs in 2004/2006 and (b) the ESKOM counts of dwelling units in all cities, towns, townships and villages.
After the release of the results of the 2007 Community Survey (the Community Survey indicated certain movements of the South African population), an intensive further update was performed making use of a large variety of variables for which data were available at the municipality level.
In all these created sampling frames special institutions (such as hospitals, military camps, old age homes, school and university hostels), recreational areas, industrial areas and vacant EAs were excluded prior to the drawing of the sample. In the sampling enumerator areas (EAs) were used as primary sampling units (PSUs) and the estimated number of dwelling units (taken as visiting point) in the EAs as secondary sampling units. In the first sampling stage PSUs (EAs) were drawn with probability proportional to size, using the estimated number of dwelling units (DUs) in an EA (PSU) as measure of size (MOS). The DU as secondary sampling unit has been defined as separate (non-vacant) residential stands, addresses, structures, flats, homesteads, etc.
In the second sampling stage a predetermined number of individual dwelling units (or visiting points) were drawn with equal probability in each of the drawn DUs.
Finally, in the third sampling stage a person was drawn with equal probability from all 16 year and older persons in the drawn DU. Three explicit stratification variables were used, namely province, geographic type and majority population group. Within each stratum, the allocated number of PSUs (which could differ between different strata) was drawn using proportional to size probability sampling with the estimated number of dwelling units in the PSU as measure of size (MOS).
In each of these drawn PSUs, two clusters of 7 dwelling units were drawn, thus resulting into two non-overlapping SASAS samples consisting of 7 DUs each.
Selection of individuals:
For each of the SASAS samples interviewers visited each visiting point drawn in the EA (PSU) and listed all eligible persons for inclusion in the sample, that is all persons currently aged 16 years 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
Topics included in the questionnaire are: democracy and governance, national identity and pride, intergroup relations, education,moral issues, crime and safety, personal wellbeing index, poverty, police confidence, tolerance, corruption, Batho Pele, voting, respondent characteristics, household characteristics, personal and household income variables.
Human Sciences Research Council
University of Cape Town
Accessible from the HSRC under conditions.
Human Sciences Research Council. South African Social Attitudes Survey 2012: Questionnaire 1 [dataset]. Version 1. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council [producer and distributor], 2016.
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