Afrobarometer Round 5: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in South Africa, 2011 (ICPSR 35563)

Published: Jul 24, 2015

Principal Investigator(s):
Washeelah Kapery, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (South Africa); E. Gyimah-Boadi, Ghana Center for Democratic Development; Michael Bratton, Michigan State University; Robert Mattes, Institute for Democracy in South Africa; Carolyn Logan, Michigan State University; Boniface Dulani, University of Malawi


Version V1

The Afrobarometer project was designed to collect and disseminate information regarding Africans' views on democracy, governance, economic reform, civil society, and quality of life. This particular data collection was concerned with the attitudes and opinions of the citizens of South Africa. Respondents in a face-to-face interview were asked to rate their president and the president's administration in overall performance, to state the most important issues facing their nation, and to evaluate the effectiveness of certain continental and international institutions. Opinions were gathered on the role of the government in improving the economy, whether corruption existed in local and national government, whether government officials were responsive to problems of the general population, and whether local government officials, the police, the courts, the overall criminal justice system, and the National Electoral Commission could be trusted. Additionally, respondents were polled about their political involvement and opinions on controversial topics. Economic questions addressed the past, present, and future of the country's and the respondents' living conditions. Background variables include age, gender, ethnicity, education, religious affiliation, language spoken most at home, whether the respondent was the head of the household, current and past employment status, and language used in interview. In addition, the interviewer's gender, race, and education level is provided.

Kapery, Washeelah, Gyimah-Boadi, E., Bratton, Michael, Mattes, Robert, Logan, Carolyn, and Dulani, Boniface. Afrobarometer Round 5: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in South Africa, 2011. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-07-24.

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2011-10-20 -- 2011-11-30

2011-10-20 -- 2011-11-30

Additional information on the Afrobarometer Survey can be found by visiting the Afrobarometer Web site.

The Afrobarometer uses a clustered, stratified, multi-stage, area probability sample design. The sample is designed as a representative cross-section of all citizens of voting age in a given country. The goal is to give every adult citizen an equal and known chance of selection for interview. This objective is reached by (a) strictly applying random selection methods at every stage of sampling and by (b) applying sampling with probability proportionate to population size wherever possible. A randomly selected sample of 1,200 cases allows inferences to national adult populations with a margin of sampling error of no more than plus or minus 3 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent. If the sample size is increased to 2,400, the confidence interval shrinks to plus or minus 2 percent.


Citizens of South Africa aged 18 years or older.


survey data

face-to-face interview

paper and pencil interview (PAPI)

59.4 percent



2015-07-24 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted, however, this collection contains the weight variable WITHINWT, that should be used in any analysis. This weight was created to account for individual selection probabilities.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.