Work to improve the investment climate is recognized as a key pillar of efforts to promote economic growth and poverty alleviation in developing countries. World Bank initiated Investment Climate Assessments provide a standardized way of measuring and comparing investment climate conditions in a country. Underpinning all ICAs is a standard core Productivity and Investment Climate Survey (PICS) instrument, which allows the identification of existing
conditions, the benchmarking of conditions to monitor changes over time, and the analysis of the impact of these conditions on firm-level performance. ICAs further employ a common structure and methodology to facilitate comparability
between countries. The objective of the South Africa Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) is to evaluate the investment climate in South Africa in all its operational dimensions and promote policies to strengthen the private sector. The investment climate is made up of the many location-specific factors that shape the opportunities and incentives for firms to invest productively, create jobs, and expand. These factors include macroeconomic and regulatory policies; the security of property rights and the rule of law; and the quality of supporting institutions such as physical and financial infrastructure.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the study were business enterprises
Version 01: Edited, anonymised data available for use in the DataFirst research data centre
Athough the PICS for SA collected data on 800 firms in different sectors, the dataset available from DataFirst (labelled version 1 by DataFirst) includes only data from the 603 firms in the manufacturing sector
Over 800 formal private enterprises in South Africa were surveyed in the 2004 ICA. Data was collected on firm productivity, the cost of doing business, the regulatory environment, the labor market, the financial sector, the trade regime and levels of investment.
The survey was carried out in 4 major metropolitan areas of South Africa: Gauteng (about 63 % of the sample), Western Cape (23%), KwaZulu-Natal (9 %), and Eastern Cape (5 %).
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is city/town and, in some cases, suburb.
The universe of interest in the survey was small (10-49 employees), medium (50-99 employees) and large (100-499 employees) enterprises in South Africa.
Producers and sponsors
South African Department of Trade and Industry
Funding the study
Funding the study
About 800 firms were surveyed between January and December 2004. About 75 percent (603) of the sample were in the manufacturing sector, 14 percent in the construction industry and the remaining 11 percent in wholesale and retail trade. Within these broad sectors, firms were randomly selected from lists of firms registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (i.e. only formal registered enterprises are included in the sample). Although the samples should be broadly representative of formal firms within each sector, they are not representative of the entire economy. Because of this, and because the samples for comparator countries only cover manufacturing, data from the three sectors are presented separately in the main report. The sample included firms from major metropolitan areas in Gauteng (about 63 percent of the sample), Western Cape (23 percent), KwaZulu-Natal (9 percent), and Eastern Cape (5 percent). The sample was mainly composed of small (10-49 employees), medium (50-99 employees) and large (100-499 employees) enterprises, although about 14 percent of the sample were very large (over 500 employees). There were few microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees) in the sample, especially in the manufacturing sector.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Data was collected through interviews with the enterprise's manager or owner and, where possible the firm's accountant/book-keeper and human resources manager.
The South African PICS survey used a standard core Productivity and Investment Climate Survey (PICS) questionnaire, designed by the World Bank. The PICS core questionnaire has two sections. The main section of the questionnaire collects data on the business and the investment climate in which it functions. This section should be administered to the enterprise's manager or owner.
Data is collected on:
1. Firm ownership, activities, location
2. Sales (imports, exports, supply and demand, competition)
3. Investment climate constraints
4. Infrastructure and services (power, water, transport, ict infrastructure, business services)
5. Finance (including financial services)
6. Labor relations
7. Business-government relations:
8. Legal environment:
9. Security (cost of crimes, quality of police services)
10. Business innovation, learning:
The second part of the questionnaire consists of questions on production costs, investment flows, balance sheet information and workforce statistics. This section should be administered to the accounting department/book-keeper and human resources manager.
The dataset is only accessible in the DataFirst research data centre at the University of Cape Town
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
World Bank. Productivity and Investment Climate Survey, South Africa 2004. Ref. ZAF_2004_PICS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://www.datafirst.uct.ac.za/catalogue3/index.php/catalog/311 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-picssa-2004-v1) that was done by DataFirst.