The Survey of Activities of Young People was conducted by Statistics South Africa and commissioned by the Department of Labour, primarily to gather information necessary for formulating an effective programme of action to address the issue of harmful work done by children in South Africa. Technical assistance for the survey was provided by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and a consultant appointed by the Department of Labour. Stats SA also worked with an advisory committee, consisting of representatives from national government departments most directly concerned with child labour (the Departments of Labour,Welfare,Education and Health), non-governmental organisations, and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the study were households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset for licensed distribution
The study examines both economic and non-economic work activities of children in South Africa. Proxy indicators of children's work included the type of activity, hours spent on the activity and whether the environment in which the activity took place was hazardous.
working conditions [3.6]
gender and gender roles [12.6]
time use [13.9]
The survey had national coverage
The lowest level of geographic aggregation in the study is Province.
The sampled population was household members in South Africa. The survey excluded all people in prison, patients in hospitals, people residing in boarding houses and hotels, and boarding schools. Any single person households were screened out in all areas before the sample was drawn. Families living in hostels were treated as households.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (ILO)
United States Department of Labour
South African Department of Labour
The sample frame was based on the 1996 Population Census Enumerator Areas (EA) and the number of households counted in 1996 Population Census. The sampled population excluded all prisoners in prison, patients in hospitals, people residing in boarding houses and hotels (whether temporary or semi-permanent), and boarding schools. Any single person households were screened out in all areas before the sample was drawn. Families living in hostels were treated as households. Coverage rules for the survey were that all children of usual residents were to be included even if they were not present. This means that most boarding school pupils were included in their parents’ household. The 16 EA types from the 1996 Population Census were condensed into four area types. The four area types were Formal Urban, Informal Urban, Tribal, and Commercial Farms. A decision was made to drop the Institution type EAs.
The EAs were stratified by province, and within a province by the four area types defined above. The sample size (6110 households) was disproportionately allocated to strata by using the square root method. Within the strata the EAs were ordered by magisterial district and the EA-types included in the area type (implicit stratification). PSUs consisted of ONE or more EAs of size 100 households to
ensure sufficient numbers for screening. Statistics SA was advised by child labour experts that there was a likelihood of high rates of child labour in the Urban Informal and Rural Farm areas. The sample allocation to Rural Commercial Farms was therefore increased to a minimum of 20 PSUs.
Two different sets of weights were used for this study, i.e. household and individual weights. The 1996 population census, as adjusted by a post-enumeration survey (PES), was used as a basis for the weighting. Household weights were calculated by using the reciprocal of the inclusion probabilities. For the person weight, the inflated data were post-stratified by province, gender and age group and a population control adjustment based on the Stats SA population estimate (using the 1996 population census) was applied.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
The survey was conducted in two phases: In Phase1 interviews were conducted in a representative sample of 26 081 households throughout the country, to determine the extent of child labour. In Phase 2 follow-up interviews were conducted in a sub-sample of 4 494 of the households in which Phase I had shown at least one child was engaged in work-related activities. More extensive questions about the nature of work the children were doing were put to an adult in the
household, and to the child or children themselves involved in these activities
The Phase one questionnaire covered the following topics:
Living conditions of the household, including the type of dwelling, fuels used for cooking, lighting and heating,water source for domestic use, land ownership,tenure and cultivation; demographic information on members of the household, both adults and children. Questions covered the age, gender and population group of each household member, their marital status, their relationships to each other, and their levels of education; migration details; household income; school attendance of children aged 5 -17 years; information on economic and non-economic activities of children aged 5-17 years in the 12 months prior to the survey
Phase two questionnaire
The second phase questionnaire was administered to the sampled sub-set of households in which at least one child was involved in some form of work in the year prior to the interview. It covered activities of children in much more detail than in phase one, and the work situation of related adults in the household. Both adults and children were asked to respond.
The data files contain data from sections of the questionnaires as follows:
PERSON: Data from Section 1, 2 and 3 of the questionnaire
HHOLD : Data from Section 4
ADULT : Data from Section 5
YOUNGP: Data from Section 6, 7, 8 and 9
University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
Licensed dataset, accessible under conditions
Statistics South Africa. Survey of activities of young people 1999. [dataset]. Version 1. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2001. Cape Town: DataFirst [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.
Copyright, Statistics South Africa
DDI Document ID
University of Cape Town
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 2 : World Bank, DECDG, Study and DDI ID's adapted to match the World Bank ID convention, Added variable labels