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02 September 2010

Voices of the people: A national and international perspective

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

    •    Venue:: Pretoria, and videocasted to the HSRC offices in Durban and Cape Town. For directions and maps, go to our Contact Us page.
    •    Date: Tuesday 7 September, 2010
    •    Time: 15:00 to 16:30

Over the last fifteen years, a multitude of national and sub-national studies have provided rich information about the characteristics of the South African society. However, much less is known about how South Africans feel about their world and themselves. In response, the HSRC has been conducting the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) on an annual basis since 2003.

The aim of SASAS is to deepen our understanding of public attitudes, document how these have been changing, and determine the nature and extent of attitudinal differences across our diverse society through asking the same questions to the public over a long period of time. It also provides an overview of the political, socio-economic and societal values of our citizens, and discuss important new developments in relation to the survey series.

During the SASAS seminar, Sir Roger Jowell, director of the Centre for Comparative Social Studies at the City University in London, will talk about the value of attitudes data and more specifically the value of cross-national comparative data. Comparative data is important since it not only helps reveal the differences between countries but also reveals aspects of ones own country and culture that would be difficult to elect from domestic data alone.

Ben Roberts, SASAS project leader, will focus on the ‘Voice  of the People: A decade in review’. He will talk about important societal issues and how these have changed in the last decade. Some of the topics that he will address in his discussion will include: trust in institutions, race relations and affirmative action, fear of crime and satisfaction with service delivery.

At this event, copies of the South African Social Attitudes 2nd Report: Reflections on the Age of Hope will be available for purchase. More on the book is available on

Ina van der Linde
Media Liaison
Human Sciences Research Council
Tel :             +27(0)123022024
Cellphone: +27(0)823310614