Quality of Life Survey V (2017/18): The quality of life of students in Gauteng
The GCRO’s biennial Quality of Life (QoL) survey has proven to provide valuable insights into the overall quality of life of residents in Gauteng. The survey data can be applied in many different ways, like understanding the spatial dimensions of certain measures or delving into details about conditions in specific areas or sub-groups. This Data Brief provides an overview of the quality of life of one such sub-group, namely students in Gauteng.
Why do we need to focus on students in Gauteng? One reason is that educational attainment is critically important to enabling social mobility and reducing inequality in our society but that accessing tertiary education is not easy. Personal circumstances also influence how successful students are. The QoL survey data for 2017/18, allowed us to explore the relative privilege and disadvantage within, and between, student and non-student residents in Gauteng.
This Data Brief considers various dimensions of students’ lives, starting with the demographic profile of the student sample. It also considers their living conditions and socio-economic status, access to selected resources and assets, transport choices, satisfaction, sense of well-being and overall quality of life. The analysis represents the lives of students before the COVID-19 pandemic and it is very likely that many of the disparities and challenges that students face (like being a household head or accessing the internet) would be exacerbated during the various phases of lockdown, making it even harder to manage tertiary education demands
The results showed that various dimensions of racial inequality exist within the student sample. On average, African students were from households with lower monthly incomes than white students. However, it is also important to note that the average household income of African students was almost twice as much as that of African non-students. African students were also less likely to report that they have access to various assets that likely assist learning (like laptops or internet at home) than other population groups. It was also clear that the majority of all students in the sample would have qualified for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding (69%) based on their household income. Only about 26% of students were considered part of the ‘missing middle’, and only about 5% of students could be categorised as upper class. In terms of satisfaction, students were, on average, 6% more likely to be satisfied with a range of services, facilities and spheres of government than non-students. Although the differences remain relatively small, students were more likely to respond positively on various measures of physical well-being and of mental well-being such as physical health and emotional support respectively, than non-students. The quality of life of students was higher than that of non-students.
There were both positive and negative findings, but the analysis highlights that the need for financial support remains significant, especially for students and non-students from poorer households. Students also experience a variety of challenges to completing tertiary education (like access to assets and transport opportunities) which should be considered for interventions. There were also significant social class differences between part-time and full-time students, suggesting that there is value in creating part-time tertiary learning opportunities. Ultimately, our goal should be to provide disadvantaged youth with greater access to tertiary education and opportunities to complete tertiary qualifications.
Date of publication:
Quality of Life Survey IV (2015/16): Health
The GCRO’s Quality of Life IV (2015/16) Health Data Brief provides an overview of key findings from a set of questions in the survey specifically designed to gather insights about respondents’ personal health, access to and use of healthcare facilities, and their sense of wellness. Overall, the data reveals a strong relationship between respondents’ levels of income and their health and wellness. As affluence increased, respondents were more likely to have medical aid, use private healthcare, report high satisfaction with the healthcare facilities they usually use, and report better personal health. There were also strong relationships with level of education and population group.
The data shows that the majority of respondents usually made use of public healthcare facilities. However, satisfaction with public healthcare facilities was substantially lower than satisfaction with private healthcare facilities. While most respondents reported that household members were able to obtain healthcare when they needed it, a few were unable to get the care they required and cited financial constraints and inadequate facilities or staff as the main reasons for this.
While some respondents avoided public healthcare facilities due to concerns about the quality of care received, there were also respondents who sought out public healthcare facilities specifically for its good quality of care. Although only one in ten respondents were visited at their home by a healthcare worker, the data suggests that outreach efforts are effectively being directed towards less affluent areas and individuals.
This Data Brief also presents important insights into self-reported health and well-being across the province. Nine out of ten respondents in Gauteng described their health status as good or excellent; very few indicated that their health status interferes with their daily work or social activities; and the majority reported positive subjective well-being.
Across a number of variables this Data Brief provides information for each of Gauteng’s health districts, illustrating both areas of strength and where there is room for improvement. Information on the use of various healthcare services, and how respondents experience the services they receive, can help with health service planning, and understanding how to increase satisfaction.
Date of publication:
Quality of Life Survey IV (2015/16): Social Cohesion
GCRO’s Data Brief No. 8, part of a series to be released on the QoL IV (2015/16) survey results, reports on data related to social cohesion in Gauteng. Social cohesion is not something which can be quantified as a whole, but the QoL IV survey does provide several important indications of societal attitudes and behaviours which threaten social cohesion. This is in addition to the variety of perceptions of Gauteng residents gathered in QoL IV, including perceived quality of life, socio-economic circumstances, satisfaction with service delivery, values, psycho-social and political attitudes, etc.
Key findings include the following. First, respondents have quite divergent views for each measure. Some respondents believe there is social tolerance and trust, while others believe there is not. Some provide responses which indicate intolerant attitudes, while others are accepting of difference. Second, there are different trends over time for the various questions that we analyse. There are some notable positive trends regarding improved tolerance between different race groups and towards cross border migrants. Nevertheless there are concerning patterns, such as a percentage of people who endorse violence against foreigners and violence towards gay and lesbian people. Third, those who are intolerant are not distributed evenly across the geography of the province. Finally, different forms of intolerance do not always overlap spatially with one another. For example, some wards have higher proportions of respondents who believe that homophobic violence is acceptable but the same wards do not necessarily endorse xenophobic violence to the same extent.
Date of publication:
Quality of Life Survey IV (2015/16): Crime and perceptions of safety in Gauteng
The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) launched its fourth and largest Quality of Life (QoL) survey in 2016. The QoL IV survey gathered perceptions of Gauteng residents on a wide range of issues: perceived quality of life, socio-economic circumstances, satisfaction with service delivery, values, psycho-social and political attitudes, etc. Some questions asked respondents to comment directly on issues of crime and safety.
Other questions did not ask specifically about crime and safety, but these issues came up in the answers provided. This Data Brief, the first of a series to be released on the QoL IV survey results, reports on data related to crime and perceptions of safety. Key findings include the following. One in every five respondents had experienced crime in the 12 months prior to being interviewed, much in line with previous QoL surveys.
Various factors influenced whether or not people felt secure, such as the time of day, sex, migration status, dwelling type and the presence or absence of street lights. As with previous QoL surveys, crime was the most common response to the question, ‘What is the biggest problem facing your community?’ However, unlike previous surveys, drugs now featured prominently amongst communities’ concerns. Both formal and informal business owners identified crime as the main constraint facing their businesses.
Date of publication:
Informal sector enterprise and employment in Gauteng
This data brief on ‘Informal sector enterprise and employment in Gauteng’, is relevant to the attacks on informal entrepreneurs in Johannesburg. It provides data on informal entrepreneurship which, where relevant, is also analysed by municipality and migrant status. It also provides information on the use of and attitudes to the informal sector and informal sector employment
Date of publication: