The PSS is one of a series of People's Security Surveys run in several countries by the InFocus Programme on Socio-Economic Security of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The survey tracks seven forms of work-related security which define decent work to examine vulnerability and risk in the working environment in South Africa. Background data is also collected on household vulnerability, representation security and 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.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the survey include households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
The surveys examine both objective and subjective elements of people's security. The questions probe the following:
The socio-economic situation of the respondent and her/his household
People's perceptions of insecurity and security
Sources of socio economic insecurity for different social and demographic groups
Actual knowledge with regard to policies
Perceptions with regard to policies relating to socio economic security
social welfare policy [15.1]
social welfare systems/structures [15.2]
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
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.
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
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
University of Cape Town
Public use files, accessible to all
International Labour Organisation. People's Security Survey: South Africa, 2001 [dataset]. Version 1. Geneva: International Labour Organisation [producer and distributor], 2003.