The Volunteer Activities Survey (VAS) is a household-based survey conducted by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The VAS collects information on the volunteer activities of individuals aged 15 years and older in South Africa. The respondents were selected from households who took part in the second quarter Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). Volunteer activities covers unpaid non-compulsory work; that is, the time individuals give without pay to activities performed either through an organisation or directly for others outside their own household.
Data on volunteering provides important infomation on skills application, social network development, social capital and quality of life outcomes. The main aim of the survey is to provide information on the scale of volunteer work and bring into view the sizeable part of the labour force that is invisible in existing labour statistics. The objectives of the VAS are:
• To collect reliable data about people who are involved in volunteer activities.
• To identify organisation-based and direct volunteering.
• To give a profile of those engaged in volunteer activities.
• To estimate the economic value of volunteer work.
Stats SA conducted the first Volunteer Activities Survey (VAS 2010) in the second quarter of 2010 and the second (VAS 2014) in the second quarter of 2014. VAS 2018 is the third survey in the series which was conducted in the second quarter of 2018.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset for licensed distribution
The scope of the Volunteer Activities Survey includes: types of volunteer activities, reasons for volunteer activity, time spent on volunteer activity, and monetary value for volunteer activity.
The survey has national coverage
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is province.
The target population of the survey consists of individuals aged 15 years and older who live in South Africa and who are members of households living in dwellings that have been selected to take part in the second quarter Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS).
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) sample frame was used for data collection in the VAS. The sample for the QLFS is based on a stratified two-stage design with probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling of primary sampling units (PSUs) in the first stage, and sampling of dwelling units (DUs) with systematic sampling in the second stage. The frame was developed as a general purpose household survey frame that can be used by all other household surveys irrespective of the sample size requirement of the survey. The sample is based on information collected by Statistics SA during the 2001 Population Census and is designed to be representative at the provincial level and within provinces at the metro/non-metro level. Within the metros, the sample is further distributed by geography type. The four geography types are: urban formal, urban informal, farms and tribal land.