Pretoria, Thursday 9 April 2020 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) today commenced the second part of its public perception survey on the impact of the coronavirus on South Africans. This follows the first survey conducted from Friday 27 March – Tuesday 31 March during which the Council looked at how South Africans feel about the survey, what they understand, know and how they are reacting to the COVID 19 Emergency .
The second wave of the survey which will be conducted from Tuesday 7 April 2020 – Tuesday 14 April 2020 will look specifically at the lockdown implemented from 27 March to 16 April.
The survey conducted on the social media platform Moya Messaging which can be accessed data free will look at some of the following issues:
• What type of community the respondent lives in
• Access to services for drinking and sanitation
• Knowledge about the coronavirus including preventive measures, primary concerns about the virus, does a lockdown help to prevent the spread of the virus
• Perceptions about personal risk in relation to contracting the virus
• Travel, movement and adherence to social distancing guidelines
• Access to food during the lockdown
• Testing for COVID-19 and Coronavirus
• The socio-economic impact of the lockdown on the respondent and his/her household
• Whether the respondent was subjected to gender based violence during the lockdown
• Activities undertaken by the respondent during the lockdown.
The second part of the survey will include telephonic qualitative questions which will provide deeper responses from respondents, particularly those with minimal internet access of out of coverage range. This is particularly important noting the digital divide in South Africa and the essential need to service communities most at risk.
Professor Priscilla Reddy, the lead researcher on the study has called on all South Africans to share the link to the survey with as many people as possible. “Covid-19 has affected us all in the country, and the world, in ways which we could never have imagined. We need to understand what this pandemic has meant to you. The more widespread the responses we receive, the better the quality of our understanding and analysis. We may not be able to prevent another outbreak in future but if we understand the implications of this virus on the lives of ordinary South Africans we can prepare better for the future. The HSRC and South Africa needs your help,” concluded Professor Reddy.
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The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.
Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.
The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.
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