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29 June 2021

HSRC to evaluate how COVID-19 has affected South Africans a year later

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Johannesburg, Tuesday 29 June 2021 – At the end of March 2021, South Africa commemorated a year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the first case of the virus in South Africa was confirmed on 5 March 2020, the country has been in various stages of lockdown since 26 March 2020.

The HSRC has, over the course of the pandemic, supported South Africa’s biomedical response to the pandemic with a range of surveys looking at attitudes, perceptions and behaviours aimed at protecting lives while also understanding how the pandemic was affecting both lives and livelihoods. To this end, representatives of the HSRC, while serving as members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, have also had the opportunity to brief the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and other structures responsible for national interventions and public health communication during this time.

As South Africa rolls out the second phase of its national vaccination programme, aimed at those over the age of 60 and soon, those over the age of 50, the HSRC will be undertaking a survey looking at how South Africans have fared in its “Year Later” national survey. This survey follows its 2020 “COVID-19 study – The socio-behavioural aspects of the Coronavirus Pandemic in South Africa.”

The “Year Later” survey will look at South Africans’ experiences of COVID-19 over the past year, how South Africans feel about the national vaccination programme currently being rolled out, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, and issues of grief and coping related to loss and adaptation to the “new normal”.

The survey is completely anonymous and will be conducted on the data free platform, Data-Free. It will also be supported by a qualitative component where interviews will be conducted telephonically with an identified sample of respondents. To ensure the most effective responses to the questionnaire, it has been translated into, and will be administered, in 6 national languages (isiXhosa, isiZulu, English, Afrikaans, Tshivenda, Sesotho).

The survey will run from 29 June – 29 July and is expected to reach 25,000 respondents.

The data will be analysed following the conclusion of the survey and results will be presented to national structures to ensure adequate responses and public health communication interventions.

To access the reserch data free link click here

To participate in the survey, please click

For interviews please contact

Ms Manusha Pillai on 082 389 3587 or

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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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For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:

Manusha Pillai

Mobile: 082 389 3587


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