Governance Public Safety and Justice Survey 2018-2019
Household Survey [hh]
In April 2018, StatsSA launched the Governance Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS) in response to the need for standardised international reporting standards on governance and access to justice that are recommended by the SDGs, ShaSA and Agenda 2063. In compliance with these standards, Stats SA discontinued the separate publication of the Victims of Crime Survey (VCS) and incorporated it within the new GPSJS series. Therefore, the GPSJS represents the new source of microdata on the experience and prevalence of particular kinds of crime within South Africa.
The GPSJS is a countrywide household-based survey which collects data on two types of crimes, namely, vehicle hijacking and home robbery. Business robbery is not covered by the survey. The survey includes information on victimisation experienced by individuals and households and their perspectives on community responses to crime. Additionally, the survey data includes information on legitimacy, voice, equity and discrimination. Therefore, GPSJS data can be used for research in the development of policies and strategies for governance, crime prevention, public safety and justice programmes. The main objectives of the survey are to:
• Provide information about the dynamics of crime from the perspective of households and the victims of crime.
• Explore public perceptions of the activities of the police, prosecutors, courts and correctional services in the prevention of crime and victimisation.
• Provide complimentary data on the level of crime within South Africa in addition to the statistics published annually by the South African Police Service.
NOTE: The GPSJS is a continuation of the VCS series, which ended with VCS 2017/18. Therefore, the VCS 2018/19 can be exctracted from GPSJS 2018/19 and is comparable to previous VCS's only where questions remained the same. Please see Data Quality Notes for more infomation on comparability.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
Households and individuals
v1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public access
The GPSJS focuses on people's perceptions and experiences of crime and their views regarding access to, and effectiveness of the police service and criminal justice system. Households are also asked about community responses to crime. The survey profiles different aspects that are inherent in the different types of crime, such as the location and timing of the different crimes, the use of weapons and the nature and extent of the violence that takes place. Additionally, the survey captures aspects of democracy such as voting participation and experiences of various types of discrimination.
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 all private households in all nine provinces of South Africa, as well as residents in workers' hostels. The survey does not cover other collective living quarters such as students' hostels, old-age homes, hospitals, prisons and military barracks. It is only representative of non-institutionalised and non-military persons or households in South Africa.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics South Africa
GPSJS 2018/19 uses a Master Sample of 2013 (MS 2013) which has been designed as a general-purpose household survey frame for all Stats SA household surveys. MS 2013 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 systematic sampling of dwelling units (DUs) in the second stage. The MS has 3 324 PSUs and it has been divided into four rotation groups. Thus, each rotation group has 831 PSUs.
The selected 3 324 PSUs were sent to Geography division for the creation of the up-to-date DU frame to be used in the selection of the dwelling unit sample. There were three conceptually split PSUs (as per MS design) in the MS PSUs based on GIF information. This resulted in 3 324 PSUs, but on the ground they are represented by 3 321 unique PSUs. Out of the 3 324 PSUs, 3 313 PSUs had dwelling units to sample from while no sample could be drawn from 11 PSUs. The dwelling units were selected using the systematic sampling method with a specified sample take of around 10 DUs per PSU. A total of 27 071 DUs were sampled.
MS 2013 is designed to be representative at provincial level and within provinces at metro/non-metro levels. Within the metros, the sample is further distributed by geographical type. The three geography types are Urban, Tribal and Farms. This implies, for example, that within a metropolitan area, the sample is representative of the different geography types that may exist within that metro.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Since 2013, Stats SA has changed the data collection methodology to continuous data collection. Data is collected from April of the current year to March of the proceeding year.
For the GPSJS 2018/19, the reference period for the experience of crime estimates is April 2018 to February 2019, while questions on perceptions referred to the collection period (i.e. April 2018 to March 2019).
Statistics South Africa
Government of South Africa
The GPSJS 2018/19 questionnaire is based on international reporting standards of governance, public safety and justice defined by the SDGs.
Sections 1 to 3 of the questionnaire relate to household crimes. A proxy respondent (preferably head of the household or acting head of household) answered on behalf of the household. Section 4 to 9 of the questionnaire relate to crimes experienced by individuals and were asked of a household member who was selected using the birthday section method. This methodology selects an individual who is 16 years or older, whose birthday is soonest after the survey date.
Comparability to VCS series:
While redesigning the VCS into the GPSJS, some questions were modified in order to align the series with international reporting demands (e.g. SDGs) and to improve the accuracy of victim reporting. This caused a break of series for affected questions, in particular questions on 12-month experience of crime. The question on 5-year experience of crime was not changed and hence there is no break of series. The 5-year trends can therefore be used as a proxy for the 12-month series as the two follow similar patterns. Similarity of shapes of the two series makes it possible to predict increase or decrease of crime during the past 12 months using the 5-year series.
Statistics South Africa. Governance Public Safety and Justice Survey 2018-2019 [dataset]. Version 1. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa [producer], 2019. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/YK6V-DW83