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25 Nov 2022

Capturing the real state of the nation at a societal level Ben Roberts

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC’s South African Social Attitude Survey (SASAS) is the premier public participation (Amazwi abantu) instrument. It is vital that these perceptions are heard and acted on. Watch the interview by AfricaScope SA with Dr Ben Roberts of the HSRC’s SASAS team.

Looking at four of the five top problems identified by the public, the unemployment crisis has over the past two decades consistently been what the public want sorted out first. Crime and safety have fluctuated up and down but has remained in the number two spot while corruption has risen to be ranked third in the national priority list. In 2003, only 10% of citizens identified corruption as a concern but it’s now heading upwards to 40% because the public are deeply concerned about what they see it as the crisis of corruption. Another problem to worry about is service delivery, which has a surprisingly low priority considering the general concerns about different aspects. However, it is consistently edging upwards towards 30% and if the needs of the public and specific aspects of service delivery are not addressed, this is going to continue to spike upwards. The South African Social Attitude Survey (SASAS) was established by the HSRC in 2003. It is conducted annually, and 18 rounds of the survey have been completed. The 19th round of face-to-face interviews will start in November 2022. It is a random probability sample that is nationally representative of the population 16 years and older in the country. SASAS’s purpose is to monitor long term value changes within the South African society. It forms part of the international social survey programme which is made-up of 40-50 countries. A key focus of SASAS is trying to better understand society and providing evidence to policymakers so that they can draw on this evidence to develop interventions that are needed within the broad heterogeneous society that we live in. This research matters, particularly given the new and emerging vulnerabilities that South African society faces and seeing it through the lens of the public. The video gives a detailed picture of key trends in South Africa.

The HSRC’s South African Social Attitude Survey is the premier public participation (Amazwi abantu) instrument. It is vital that these perceptions are heard and acted on.

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
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