The People's Security Survey (PSS) is a household survey conducted by the International Labour Orgnaisation's (ILO) Social Security Department (SECSOC). The survey seeks to track the seven forms of work-related security comprising decent work, as well as highlighting people's aspirations and sense of social justice. Between 2000 and 2003, these surveys were conducted in 15 countries and in 2005 these were conducted in three countries: Namibia, Mozambique and Sri Lanka. Because the survey instrument was being developed during that time, and for budgetary reasons, the samples and survey design varied. In some countries, a national representative survey was conducted; in others, representative samples were drawn only from selected regions or from urban areas only.
Insecurity is partly objective, partly subjective. To develop a strategy for reducing socio economic insecurity, it is necessary to consider both objective and subjective indicators of security. While it may be relatively easy to create objective indices of socio economic security, to create sound indicators that capture subjective elements of socio economic security, effort has to be made to find out what people in different parts of the world, from different social and demographic groups, perceive as the extent of their security or insecurity. It was with this purpose that IFPSES launched its PSS in mid 2000. The objective of the PSS is therefore to:
- Provide an improved understanding of perceived needs of people for policies and institutional support to provide them with basic security.
- Enable the creation of a Decent Work Index, which is crucial to ILO's work.
- Provide important information that can be used to flag security concerns of workers in ILO
- Reports and other documents.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the survey include households and individuals
Version 01: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
The surveys examine both objective and subjective elements of people's security. The questions probe the following:
1) The socio-economic situation of the respondent and her/his household
2) People's perceptions of insecurity and security
3) Sources of socio economic insecurity for different social and demographic groups
4) Actual knowledge with regard to policies
5) Perceptions with regard to policies relating to socio economic security
6) Coping mechanisms
The survey covered Cape Town, and Durban and Matatiele in Kwazulu-Natal.
The data is at the level of the 2 metros and the rural area studied only.
The universe of the survey was household members aged 15-64
Producers and sponsors
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
The pure random sample was drawn following the Census Data, adjusted according to Research Surveys’ statistics department. The unit of analysis is the household. A single respondent was selected per household. Although the first level of stratification was drawn on race and dwelling, within a predominant racial suburb, individual households that were selected might not be part of that race. If, however, a household was chosen, or a respondent within a household, that was not of the same predominant race of the strata, the respondent was not replaced. This would allow for the mixed suburb representation that is common in South Africa today.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
The South African People's Security Project was undertaken in November 2001, by Research Surveys, based in Cape Town, South Africa. Fieldwork took place between 15 November and 6 December 2001.
The PSS contain about 100 questions - some common to all respondents, and some to specific worker or social groups. A set of core questions are asked in all the PSS. In addition there are questions about specific issues that are important in the context of the country and/or the socio economic group that the PSS targets. The questionnaires are divided into sections by the seven types of securities that the IFP/SES monitors (except three Latin American surveys).
In addition, there are sections on:
- Background characteristics - these refer to a respondent's age, marital status and household characteristics.
- Basic security - Basic security is analysed in these surveys in terms of access to adequate food, health care, shelter and access to water.
- Social justice - these set of questions explore people's sense of social justice since these perceptions are closely linked to the sense of anxiety and distributive justice that underlies insecurity.
Here are sections of the questionnare:
Section A of the questionnaire is the household roster, providing data on household members
Section B of the questionnaire collects data on basic security of households, including security related to food, clothing, health and the financial resources of the household.
Section C of the questionnaire collects data on Labour market security
Section D of the questionnaire collects data on Employment security
Section E of the questionnaire collects data on Job security
Section F of the questionnaire collects data on Skill security
Section G of the questionnaire collects data on Work security
Section H of the questionnaire collects data on Income security
Section I of the questionnaire collects data on Representation security
Section J of the questionnaire collects data on Social justice
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
International Labour Organisation. South Africa People's Security Survey 2001. Ref. ZAF_2001_PSS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/sesame/pss.pss_files on [date].
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.
DDI Document ID
University of Cape Town
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 02 (August 2013). Edited version based on Version 01 DDI (ddi-zaf-datafirst-pss-2001-v1) that was done by DataFirst.