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South African Voter Participation Survey (VPS), 2008 - All provinces

Resource Type
  • Roberts, Benjamin
  • Struwig, Jare
  • Human Sciences Research Council
Publication Date
Embargo End Date
  • Human Sciences Research Council (Producer)
Funding Reference
  • Electoral Commission of South Africa
Free Keywords
  • Abstract

    Description: The following topics were covered in this questionnaire: democracy and governance issues, voter registration and participation, general perceptions on voting, voting behaviour and history, media and information issues, satisfaction with institutions, access to services, respondent and household characteristics. This data set contains 3885 cases and 349 variables.

    Abstract: The overall objective of the 2008 Voter Participation Survey (VPS) was to inform and guide the Electoral Commission (IEC) in its plans, policies and practices in undertaking the 2009 National elections. The specific objectives of the study were to evaluate the general State of Democracy in South Africa, to determine voting intention and behaviour and to examine the electoral and political involvement ahead of the 2009 National elections. A specific focus of the project was also to determine participation patterns of the youth and other vulnerable groups. In 2008, the Electoral Commission commissioned the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to undertake this Voter Participation Survey. Similar surveys have been undertaken prior to the 1999, 2000, 2004, and 2006 elections. These types of Voter Participation Surveys are usually commissioned approximately 5 months prior to the actual elections, to allow the IEC enough time to implement recommendations that might emanate from the research. One of the core aims of the study is to understand what drives participation and how participation rates can be improved, especially given the increasing low voter turnout. Of particular concern is also, whether vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and persons with disabilities, are provided for during the elections. Specific objectives of the study are to: Evaluate voting behaviour in South Africa and determine public perceptions on their participation in voting for the forthcoming national elections (2009); Determine the public's views on the work of the Electoral Commission as an Elections Management Body; Test the opinion of people on the performance of government, including the role of various institutions; Assess people's level of interest and participation in national elections and political activities in general; Investigate the patterns of participation of women, youth, persons with disabilities, including other demographic groups in elections and political activities; and Measure the level of public trust in the EC. The primary objective of Electoral Commission Voter Participation Survey methodologically study. This study issues related to people’s participation in the elections. In meeting this objective, the HSRC conducts this study commissioned by the IEC to obtain reliable scientific information

Temporal Coverage
  • 2008 / 2008
Geographic Coverage
  • South Africa (ZA)
Sampled Universe
National Population: Adults (aged 16 and older)
The survey was designed to yield a representative sample of 4000 adult South African citizens aged 18 and older (with no upper age limit), in households geographically spread across the country's nine provinces. The sampling frame used for the survey was based on the 2001 census and a set of Enumerator Area (EA) Estimates of the population numbers for various categories of the census variables were obtained per EA. In this sampling frame special institutions (such as hospitals, military camps, old age homes, schools and university hostels), recreational areas, industrial areas and vacant EAs were excluded prior to the drawing of the sample. Enumerator Areas (EAs) were used as primary sampling units and the estimated number of dwelling units (taken as visiting points) in the EAs as secondary sampling units. In the first sampling stage the primary sampling units (EAs) were drawn with probability proportional to size, using the estimated number of dwelling units in an SAL as measure of size. The dwelling units as secondary sampling units were 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 dwelling units. Finally, in the third sampling stage a person was drawn with equal probability from all 18 year and older persons in the drawn dwelling units. Three explicit stratification variables were used, namely province, geographic type and majority population group. As stated earlier, within each stratum, the allocated number of primary sampling units (which could differ between different strata) was drawn using proportional to size probability sampling with the estimated number of dwelling units in the primary sampling units as measure of size. In each of these drawn primary sampling units, seven dwelling units were drawn. This resulted in a sample of 4000 individuals. A list of the 500 drawn EAs were given to geographic information specialists (GIS) and maps were then created for each of the 500 areas, indicating certain navigational beacons such as schools, roads churches etc. Selection of individuals: For each of the IEC VPS survey samples interviewers visited each visiting point drawn in the EAs (PSU) and listed all eligible persons for inclusion in the sample, that is all persons currently aged 18 years or older and resident at the selected visiting point. The interviewer then selected one respondent using a random selection procedure based on a Kish grid. The targeted population of 4000, 3885 responses (97.1%) was realized. The data set for dissemination contains 3885 cases and 349 variables.
Time Dimension
  • Longitudinal: Cohort/Event-based
    Longitudinal: Cohort/Event-based, The voter participation survey is run before every election.
Collection Mode
  • Face-to-face interview
By accessing the data, you give assurance that The data and documentation will not be duplicated, redistributed or sold without prior approval from the rights holder. The data will be used for scientific research or educational purposes only. The data will only be used for the specified purpose. If it is used for another purpose the additional purpose will be registered. Redundant data files will be destroyed. The confidentiality of individuals/organisations in the data will be preserved at all times. No attempt will be made to obtain or derive information from the data to identify individuals/organisations. The HSRC and IEC will be acknowledged in all published and unpublished works based on the data according to the provided citation. The HSRC and IEC will be informed of any books, articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, reports or other publications resulting from work based in whole or in part on the data and documentation. For archiving and bibliographic purposes an electronic copy of all reports and publications based on the requested data will be sent to the HSRC and IEC. To offer for deposit into the HSRC Data Collection and the IEC any new data sets which have been derived from or which have been created by the combination of the data supplied with other data. The data team bears no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses. Failure to comply with the End User License may result in sanctions being imposed.

Update Metadata: 2019-03-26 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2018-11-29

Roberts, Benjamin; Struwig, Jare; Human Sciences Research Council (2019): South African Voter Participation Survey (VPS), 2008 - All provinces. Version: 1.0. HSRC - Human Science Research Council SA. Dataset.