The Durban Large Firm Survey is the result of an agreement between the Durban Unicity Council and USAID in 2000 to fund a World Bank technically-supported survey of firms in the greater Durban region. The survey, carried out between May 2002 – April 2003, involved 22 fieldworkers. These were managed by the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) at Unisa.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis for the survey were enterprises
v1: Edited, anonymised data for licensed distribution
The survey collected general business data on the firm, and data on production, finances, purchasing, sales/marketing, business relations, human resources, and administrative/legal matters, as well as port-related data.
business/industrial management and organisation [2.2]
labour relations/conflict [3.3]
The survey covered large manufacturing firms in the Durban metropolitan area of South Africa
Producers and sponsors
Durban Unicity Council
Bureau of Market Research
To assist fieldworkers in selecting sample units (firms) the World Bank provided the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) at Unisa with various sample frames (listings of firm names). These sample frames were used to contact firms randomly by telephone in order to set up appointments with the managing directors, managers or owners of the firms. Because no sample frame is comprehensive enough to include all firms operating in the Durban Metropolitan Area, various sample frames had to be utilized. The study was constructed to stratify industry by type, employment size group and geographic area. The sample frames had some limitations in this regard: they lacked employment size group classifications and they had a limited number of firms for certain sectors and they showed geographic location problems. In some cases information on the firms was outdated.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The eight questionnaires for the survey covered the following topics:
Questionnaire 1: General issues (completed by md/ceo): General business information, economic policy environment, government's role in investment promotion and local economic development, corporate governance and ownership structure, parent company, corporate finance, interest rates, exports, imports and exchange rates, company tax rates, pdi (previously disadvantaged individual) participation in company ownership, future expectations, mergers/acquisitions
Questionnaire 2: Production related issues (completed by production manager): Products manufactured, choice of location, capacity utilization, capital assets
Questionnaire 3: Financial related issues (completed by financial manager)
Questionnaire 4: Purchase related issues (completed by the purchasing manager): Business relations, purchase of raw materials, import duties and tariffs, import of raw materials,
Questionnaire 5: Sales/marketing related issues (completed by sales/marketing manager): Business relations, membership of business associations, sources of information, sale of products, exports, business operations and profitability, government contracts,
Questionnaire 6: Human resource related issues (completed by the hr manager): Recruitment, training, labour relations, labour market regulation, employment size and patterns, employees' transport infrastructure, labour cost and impact of HIV/AIDS
Questionnaire 7: Administrative/legal related issues (completed by the administrative manager): Start-up licenses and permits, licensing and permits required to continue operations
Questionnaire 8: Port related issues (completed by the shipping/export/marketing manager)
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
Public use files, accessible to all
Durban Unicity Council. Durban Large Firm Survey 2002-2003. [dataset]. Version 1. Durban: Unicity Council, World Bank [producers] 2006. Durban: University of Kwazulu-Natal, School of Development Studies [distributor], 2011.
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.