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Quality of Life survey V (2017/18)

The biennial Quality of Life (QoL) survey measures the quality of life, socio-economic circumstances, attitudes to service delivery, psycho-social attitudes, value-base and other characteristics of the GCR. It serves as a tracking and diagnostic tool, affording a rich information resource for policy makers and the public wanting to see where progress is being made, and where concerns remain.

Quick facts about the Quality of Life V (2017/18) survey

  • 80-90 fieldworkers per day conducted surveys
  • The survey asks 248 questions across 14 categories
  • There were 257 days of fieldwork
  • All 529 Gauteng wards were surveyed
  • A total of 24 889 adult respondents were included in the final results
  • All interviews combined took 1 020 856 minutes

A significant fieldwork operation

The Quality of Life survey is achieved through our partnerships with government and academia. Two metropolitan municipalities – Ekurhuleni, and Johannesburg – have contributed significant funding for QoL V (2017/18), allowing us to realise a ward-representative sample and to facilitate a robust working partnership across the various spheres of government in the GCR. The questionnaire was refined and, with input from a range of stakeholders, addresses some of the key challenges facing the GCR. In the QoL V (2017/18) survey, respondents were asked over 200 questions, covering topics such as basic services, satisfaction with government, transport and mobility, livelihoods, local community and neighbourhood dynamics, health and well-being, migration, as well as political and social values and attitudes. Many questions remained unchanged from previous QoL surveys, meaning that the data can tell us about changes in the GCR over time.

Fieldwork for the QoL V (2017/18) survey was implemented in partnership with ResearchGo, an entity of the University of Johannesburg. ResearchGo contracted data collectors through Harambee youth employment accelerator, providing young unemployed Gauteng residents with work experience, income, and skills training. Using ResearchGo’s innovative electronic data collection system, GCRO and ResearchGo worked together closely to monitor data collection on a live basis, ensuring the highest possible data quality and integrity.

The final dataset includes 24 889 respondents, from each and every ward in Gauteng. This large sample size enables multiple approaches to analysis, mapping and modelling, and provides all spheres of government with critical, local-level data needed to ensure the effectiveness of their programmes. As with previous surveys Professor Emeritus Paul Fatti (University of the Witwatersrand) has assisted the GCRO team in ensuring the quality of the survey design, and sampling methodology.

Launch outputs

Press release 13 November 2018 - Extensive survey shows Quality of Life improving in Gauteng

Launch presentation

Full press pack (zip file)

Gauteng Premier David Makhura's response

GCRO news story including details of select media coverage

Key insights from GCRO’s Quality of Life V (2017/18) survey

Click here for the full PDF document

1. Continuing improvement in the Quality of Life index over time

2. Quality of life remains lowest for African respondents and is not catching up

3. Access to many basic services remains high, but there are challenges with refuse removal

4. Reliable provision of water poses a challenge

5. Decreasing satisfaction with services

6. Increasing satisfaction with provincial government

7. Satisfaction with government is strongly related to Quality of Life

8. African respondents increasingly likely to see politics as a waste of time

9. A quarter of respondents have seen a protest in their community in the last year

10. Respondents who list drugs as the biggest community problem are spatially concentrated

11. Having no access to parks impacts respondents’ satisfaction with their neighbourhood

12. Respondents more willing to pay e-tolls than in previous years

13. More adults report skipping meals, particularly in poorer households

14. Only about half of respondents have all their child dependants living with them

15. Families living in more affluent areas more likely to send children to private schools

16. More than half of business owners in Gauteng operate in the informal sector

17. International migrants more likely than other respondents to own a business

18. Most respondents agree that inter-racial dating and marriage is acceptable

Frequently asked questions

Click here for the full PDF document

How is the data from the Quality of Life survey used? (Click here for interactive version)

How many people request to use Quality of Life data?

Who uses the data from the Quality of Life survey?

How does the size of the Quality of Life 2017/18 survey compare to other South African surveys? (Click here for interactive version)

What subjects are covered in the questions of the Quality of Life survey? (Click here for interactive version)

Technical details

How are the interview sites selected?

How is the respondent at an interview site selected?

What quality control measures are used?

How we weight the Quality of Life V 2017/18 survey results

The history of the GCRO’s Quality of Life survey

The first QoL survey, with 6 636 respondents in Gauteng and the economic hotspots in the broader GCR, was commissioned in 2009. A second QoL survey was completed in 2011, this time with 16 729 sample points across Gauteng. The third QoL survey conducted in 2013 saw the initiation of a provincial/local sphere partnership and provided data to ward level, with a massive sample of 27 490 respondents. The fourth QoL survey commissioned in 2015 was the largest social attitudes survey ever conducted in the Gauteng province, boasting over 30 000 respondents.

Since 2009 GCRO has conducted 5 Quality of Life surveys:

Quality of Life survey Data (2015 and earlier)

QoL Viewer

Ward profile viewer

GIS Website

Other Quality of Life surveys

Quality of Life survey IV (2015/16)

Quality of Life survey III (2013/14)

Quality of Life survey II (2011)

Quality of life survey I (2009)


Last updated: 21 November 2018

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