The Survey of Employers and the Self-employed (SESE) was conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in the third quarter of 2009. Two earlier SESE's were conducted, in 2001 and 2005.
The main aim of the SESE is:
• to collect data on micro- and small businesses in South Africa, their operation and access to services
• to collect income tax information on non-VAT paying businesses.
• to determine the contribution of these businesses to the economic growth of the country
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the survey include individuals and enterprises
v1.1: Edited, anonymised data for licensed distribution
Version one of the Survey of Employers & Self-Employed was downloaded from Statistic South Africa's website on 29 July 2011. In version 1.1 DataFirst has added value labels and removed decimal points from values.
The survey collected background data on small businesses and their operations, including their premises, the establishment of the business and start-up finance. Data was also collected on business production and the workforce, expenditure, capital and transport.
business/industrial management and organisation [2.2]
The survey had national coverage
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the SESE 2009 data is Province.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
The focus of the survey was businesses who are not registered for Value Added Tax (VAT). These small and micro-businesses are generally excluded from the business frame which is used in surveys of the formal economy conducted by Statistics South Africa. Currently, there is no sampling frame on which to base weights and raising factors for small unregistered businesses in South Africa. As a result, the research design used for SESE was a household based survey, consisting of two stages. The first stage involved using the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) enumeration to identify individuals who were running unregistered businesses. The second stage involved follow-up interviews with the owners of these businesses by QLFS enumerators. The QLFS data was collected in the middle two weeks of the month throughout the quarter. The SESE questionnaire was then administered to individuals in relevant households in the last week of the month, also throughout the quarter.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
The questionnaire covered background data on the small business (from questions 4 to 17 of the questionnaire) and its business operations, including the premises, the establishment of the business and start-up finance (question 18 to 39). Data is also collected on production and the workforce (question 40 to 54), expenditure (question 55 to 56), business capital (question 57 to 61) and transport (question 62 to 63).
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
Licensed dataset, accessible under conditions
Statistics South Africa. Survey of Employers & Self-Employed [dataset]. Version 1.1. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2011. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2012.
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.