Principal Investigator(s): Bratton, Michael, Michigan State University; Mattes, Robert, Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA); Chikwanha, Annie Barbara, Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA); Magezi, Alex, Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)
The Afrobarometer project was designed to assess attitudes toward democracy, markets, and civil society in several sub-Saharan African nations, and to track the evolution of such attitudes in those nations over time. This particular survey was concerned with the attitudes and opinions of the citizens of South Africa. Respondents gave their opinions of the performance of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki and elected officials in local and national government, the government's handling of issues such as crime and the economy, the most important issues facing the nation, and whether the country was heading in the right direction. A series of questions addressed respondents' living conditions, the economic conditions and political influence of their own ethnic group compared to other groups in the country, and whether they felt more attached to their national identity or their ethnic group. Views were sought on the past, present, and future of economic conditions in the country, economic policies and reform, political parties, income inequality, civil rights, equal rights for women, and whether laws were enforced equally. Respondents rated their level of trust in the government, military, courts, the media, and others, the level of corruption existing in these groups, the ease of obtaining assistance with securing documents and government services, the methods by which respondents did so, and how often in the past year respondents had paid a bribe to a government official. Other questions asked about respondents' interest in public affairs, their level of civic engagement, and their satisfaction with the way democracy and elections worked in South Africa. Respondents were quizzed on their knowledge of government officials, presidential term limits, and government policy, and gave their interpretation of the concept of democracy. Additional questions asked about media sources of information, respondents' ownership of consumer goods such as books and automobiles, their physical and mental health status, and whether any close friends or relatives had died of AIDS. Information was also collected on the presence of institutions, public utilities, and soliders in the area. Demographic variables include sex, age, race, ethnicity, education level, language, employment status, occupation, voter registration status and participation history, political party affiliation, religious preference, religious participation, and type of residential area (e.g., urban, rural, etc.).
Series: Afrobarometer Survey Series
Instructional guides that utilize this dataset are available:
Social Capital in South Africa: A Data-Driven Learning Guide - Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research