Data resources

Facilities and services

The Centre for Social Science Research works closely with the DataFirst research support unit, which operates a Research Data Centre and provides training in survey data analysis and online access to South African census and survey data. All CSSR datasets are housed in DataFirst. For more information, visit DataFirst's website.

DataFirst also provides a free support service to UCT staff and students on Upper Campus in partnership with the CSSR. Eduard Grebe is available to assist clients in finding appropriate data for their planned analysis, registering and downloading datasets from DataFirst's online data catologue, accessing datasets that are not yet available in the catalogue and to convert datasets into formats compatible with various statistical software packages. Workshops and training courses in quantitative analysis techniques and the use of statistical software are presented from time to time. Eduard is available most mornings and by appointment. His office is in Room 4.03, Robert Leslie Social Science building, Upper Campus. He can be contacted by email at


The following datasets from research projects linked to the CSSR are publicly available. Further datasets may be downloaded from the DataFirst Survey Data Archive with which the CSSR works closely.

Cape Area Panel Study

The Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS) is a longitudinal study of the lives of youths and young adults in metropolitan Cape Town, South Africa. The first wave of the study collected interviews from about 4800 randomly selected young people age 14-22 in August-December, 2002. Wave 1 also collected information on all members of these young people's households, as well as a random sample of households that did not have members age 14-22. A third of the youth sample was re-interviewed in 2003 (Wave 2a) and the remaining twothirds were re-visited in 2004 (Wave 2b). The full youth sample was then re-interviewed in both 2005 (Wave 3) and 2006 (Wave 4). Wave 3 also includes interviews with approximately 2000 co-resident parents of young adults. Wave 4 also includes interviews with a sample of older adults (all individuals from the original 2002 households who were born on or before 1 January 1956) and all children born to the female young adults. The study covers a wide range of outcomes, including schooling, employment, health, family formation, and intergenerational support systems.

CAPS is a collaborative project between the CSSR at UCT and the Population Studies Center in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.  Other units involved in specific waves include UCT's Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit, the Research Program in Development Studies at Princeton University, and the Health Economics and AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  The project has received substantial funding from: the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Office of AIDS Research, the Fogarty International Center, and the National Institute of Aging of NIH; grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the University of Michigan and the University of Cape Town; and HEARD.

The 5th wave of CAPS went into the field at the end of April 2009. The fifth wave includes modules that update existing data on education, employment and unemployment, household dynamics, parenthood, and sexual behaviour, as well as new modules on attitudes relating to HIV-AIDS, intra-kin relationships, and a range of other social and political topics.  An HIV test has also been conducted among selected respondents as part of Wave 5.  CAPS is committed to putting data into the public domain, and hopes to have most of the wave 5 data available for analysis by the end of 2010.  CAPS is linked to a number of ongoing qualitative research projects, some of which entail conducting in-depth, semi-structured interviews with the same young people who are participants in CAPS.  This allows for a rich interaction between quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Cape Area Study

Since 2000, a series of surveys have been conducted in Cape Town.  In addition to CAPS, studies of the labour market dynamics and of patients on HAART, a series of cross-sectional surveys under the label Cape Area Study (CAS) have focused on selected social and political attitudes.  These surveys are intended to contribute to an understanding of the meaning and experiences of living in Cape Town, which is a distinctive city in terms of its combination of economic inequality, cultural diversity and racialised history.  Surveys in 2003 and 2005 examined attitudes among cross-sections of adults of all ages.  The 2005 survey was conducted in collaboration with scholars at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, with common modules being included in a survey in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte at the same time as in Cape Town.  Data from this 2005 CAS are available for analysis in Data First.  In 2009, attitudes among young people (aged between 21 and 29) were examined (as part of the 5th wave of CAPS).  Modules examined attitudes concerning: HIV and AIDS; norms and experiences of violence and xenophobia; obligations, claims and responsibilities with respect to ‘family support’ through kinship; aspects of distributive justice, in terms of both public and private resources; and political attitudes and behaviour (linked to the elections held in April 2009).

Khayelitsha Panel Study

The Khayelitsha Panel Study (KPS) is a study that evolved out of another study, called the 2000/2001 Khayelitsha Mitchell’s Plain (KMP) Survey. KMP 2000/2001 was based on the 1996 Population Census and covered the magisterial district of Mitchell’s Plain which included the African townships of Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Langa. The sample was designed to represent adults (18 years of age and older) in the Mitchell’s Plain Magisterial district. In 2004 researchers at the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) decided to convert KMP 2000/2001 into a panel study, and to track only Khayelitsha residents. KPS looks at socio-economic characteristics, psycho-social support, stigma, AIDS awareness and household income and composition.

Khayelitsha HAART Panel Study (KHPS)

In 2004 the AIDS and Society Research Unit (ASRU) collected longitudinal socio-economic data from a sample of HIV-positive patients receiving HAART in Khayelitsha. The second wave was conducted in 2006, and the third in 2007. The study became known as the Khayelitsha HAART panel study. The HAART panel study aimed to explore a range of issues affecting the lives of people living with HIV and taking HAART. These included adherence to the treatment regimen, experience of stigma, changes in socio-economic status, AIDS awareness and household income and composition. For reasons of confidentiality, the survey of people on antiretrovirals is available only to ASRU linked researchers.

The Khayelitsha HAART panel study can be linked to the Khayelitsha Panel Study and offers researchers the unique opportunity to compare changes among the HAART sample and the general population in Khayelitsha.


The Afrobarometer is an independent, nonpartisan research project that measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in Africa. Afrobarometer surveys are conducted in more than a dozen African countries and are repeated on a regular cycle. Because the instrument asks a standard set of questions, countries can be systematically compared. Trends in public attitudes are tracked over time. Results are shared with decision makers, policy advocates, civic educators, journalists, researchers, donors and investors, as well as average Africans who wish to become more informed and active citizens.