The South African Integrated Family Survey was undertaken in the second half of 1999 in the Langeberg health district of the Western Cape province of South Africa. This area comprises three magisterial districts of Mossel Bay, Heidelberg, and Riversdal which, at the time of the 1996 census, had a population of just under 97000 persons of whom more than three-quarters (78%) lived in urban areas. The remaining 22% of the population lived in 'non-urban' areas, mainly commercial farms.
The South African Integrated Household Study is a survey of sampled South African households. The study aims to learn about the living conditions of households. Some areas to be investigated are the structure of households and family dynamics within households; the financial situation of households - including income and expenditure patterns; the respondents’ or household members’ physical and mental health status; their social support networks and social integration; and their satisfaction with life in general. The findings of the study will give us, as well as give policy makers and the planners and providers of services, an understanding of the living circumstances and situations of households and individuals within households.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Units of analysis in the survey were households and individuals
Version 1.1: Edited, anonymised data for public distribution
Version 1.1 of the dataset is the original dataset from SALDRU, with value labels added by DataFirst. Additional changes include the correction of variable labels in householdmod_01d, oldergivemoney_01d and olderhea_02d files (see DataFirst data quality notes for details)
The survey collected data on household demographics and health (including mental health), dwelling characteristics, household goods and services, education, employment, mortality and migration, income and expenditure (including grants and pensions) and data on social integration and life satisfaction.
The survey covered the Langeberg region of the Western Cape Province in South Africa
The lowest level of geographic aggregation covered by the data is magisterial district
The survey covered all de jure household members in the area of Langeberg
Producers and sponsors
Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
National Institute of Aging
Funder for pilot study
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Funder for pilot study
HSRC/UCT Centre for Gerontology
Funder for pilot study
A sampling frame, i.e. a plan showing areas in which households must be selected for inclusion in the survey sample, has been scientifically worked out for the study, as well as the sampling technique, i.e. the process by which specific houses are to be selected for interviewing. The recruiting fieldworker will be given detailed specifications and will be specially trained to select the households for the survey. Interviewers will be given lists of the names of the occupant families of households, the addresses of the houses, and the approximate number of household members to be interviewed in each case, as well as the appointed dates and times of interviews, which they will follow.
Information was collected from a stratified sample consisting of 294 households (103 Black; 126 Coloured; and 65 White) by means of four questionnaires: one directed at 121 adults of 55 years and older; one at 573 younger adults between 18 and 54 years of age; and two focused on health (including anthropometric measurements) of 812 adults and 294 children.
Weights are the inverse of the probability of selection of the household (which were calculated when the sample EAs were drawn) times the inverse of the response rate (which may be interpreted as an inverse probability of selection under the assumption that observations are missing at random within EA's). This product summed across the 294 households to an arbitrary number approximately equal to the total number of households in the Langeberg district. The weights were rescaled to sum across completed households to the sample size, 294, by dividing each weight (the product) by the mean weight for the 294 cases. The Rescaled weight is the weight adjusted for non-response in the survey and the Rcensus weight is the Rescaled weight adjusted to 1996 population census proportions.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
For the purpose of this study, interviewing is a technique whereby an interviewer poses set questions to an individual who qualifies for inclusion in the sample and records the responses on the questionnaire (or in this case, in the modules). An interviewer arrives at a sampled (recruited) house at an appointed time; introduces the study and its aims to the respondents - specifically the household head, if available; thanks the respondents for their willingness to be interviewed; assures the respondents that whatever information is divulged by them will be kept absolutely confidential; identifies the head of the household and the most knowledgeable person (see Section 8 for definitions); poses set questions to the respondents - the questions are listed in the modules; records the answers in the appropriate spaces in the modules; probes for more information, or verifies information, where required; ensures that the interview proceeds in a congenial way; checks that all required information has been obtained; and then thanks the respondents warmly at the end of the interview, or on completion of the module(s) that were administered to them. Some terms and processes relating to interviewing are explained briefly.
Five modules have been constructed (which constitute the questionnaire, or survey instrument) which were used by the interviewers to collect information from household members (respondents) during interviews in the respondents’ home.
• A Household Module
• An Older Adult Module
• A Younger Adult Module
• A Health Measurements Module
The Household Module administered to the household head, or a person who is knowledgeable about all the members of the household and the household’s income and expenditures.
The Older Adult Module administered to all members of the household aged 55 years and over.
The Young Adult Module administered to all members of the household aged 18-54 years.
The Health Measurements Module completed for all members of the household aged 18 years and over.
The survey instrument used was one that had been developed over a four year period and was the joint product of researchers at the University of Cape Town (Monica Ferreira, HSRC/UCT Centre for Gerontology, Karen Charlton, Nutrition and Dietetics Unit; and Jaqui Goldin, SALDRU); University of the Western Cape (Pieter le Roux, Economics); University of the Witwatersrand (Merton Dagut, and Martin Wittenberg, Faculty of Commerce); Rhodes University (Valerie Moller); the Medical Research Council (Krisela Steyn and Debbie Bradshaw); Princeton University (Anne Case and Angus Deaton, Economics and Woodrow Wilson School); Harvard University (Robert Jensen, Kennedy School of Government, and David Bloom, School of Public Health); MIT (Courtney Coile, Economics); the Health Systems Trust (Dr John Gear) and the Western Cape Provincial Dept. of Health (Drs. Najma Shaikh, Mike Hendricks & Ingrid le Roux) together with other persons in the medical community of South Africa. This team of gerontologists, economists, public health experts and physicians grappled with the survey design, both structure and content, through many rounds of piloting, until there was consensus that the questionnaire worked well in the field.
Changes in version 1.1
Corrections were made to variables in the following files, which had been mislabelled
Filename: SAIFS 1999 Householdmod_01d.dta
variable name old variable label new variable label
EndingHo QB19.1 Ending hour of module QB18.1 Ending hour of module
EndingMi QB19.1 Ending minute of module QB18.1 Ending minute of module
Comprehe QB19.3 Comprehension level QB18.3 Comprehension level
Cooperat QB19.4 Cooperation level QB18.4 Cooperation level
Assistan QB19.5 Assistance? QB18.5 Assistance?
Addition QB19.7 Additional information QB18.7 Additional information
Filename: SAIFS 1999 Oldergivemoney_01d.dta
variable name variable label variable label
Employed QC20.12 Is he/she employed? QC15.12 Is he/she employed?
Occup_a1 QC20.13 What is his her occupation? QC15.13 What is his her occupation?
Occup_a2 QC20.13 Occupation code? QC15.13 Occupation code?
Filename: SAIFS 1999 Olderhea_02d.dta
All variables. These had been mislabelled as being from Section I but were from Section E. These were renamed replacing "QI" with "QE".
Remaining Data Quality Issues
After corrections to the data by DataFirst, remaining identified data quality issues with the dataset are that the variables identified in the files below do not have corresponding questions in the questionnaires for the survey:
Filename: SAIFS 1999 Householdmod_01d.dta
variable name variable label
HelpFami QB18.1.1 Help violence
HelpAlco QB18.1.2 Help alcohol
HelpPhys QB18.1.3 Help physical disability
HelpMent QB18.1.4 Help mental disability
HelpElde QB18.1.5 Help elderly
HelpPreg QB18.1.6 Help pregnancy
HelpUnem QB18.1.7 Help unemployment
HelpAids QB18.1.8 Help HIV/AIDS
HelpOthe QB18.1.9 Help other
HelpOth1 QB18.1.9 Help other specified
DTCInAre QB18.2 District Transformation Commitee DTC
DTCMembe QB18.2a Member of DTC
WelfareM QB18.3 Welfare member
Communit QB18.4 Community centre in area?
Sufficie QB18.5 Sufficient creches?
Filename: SAIFS 1999 Householdorganise_01d.dta
Consistent with the belief of the SALDRU team that ready access to data is fundamental, both for ensuring the ongoing vitality of democracy within countries but also to facilitate impartial scientific collaboration around the world, this dataset is in the public domain.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. South African Integrated Family Survey 1999. Ref. ZAF_1999_SAIFS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://www.datafirst.uct.ac.za/catalogue3/index.php/catalog/324 on [date].
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
University of Cape Town
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 02 (August 2013). Edited version based on Version 01 DDI (ddi-zaf-datafirst-saifs-1999-v1.1) that was done by DataFirst.