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AMPS 2003A - demographic and personal data

There's not as much cause to celebrate in terms of the progress of the country, where education and access to certain services is slowing, but there is some good news on the employment front.

LSMs remain unchanged
As was the case in the previous survey, SAARF Universal LSMs are stable, with no significant changes coming through. Encouragingly though, there has again been an increase in household income for every SU-LSM group. Average monthly household income levels continue to rise. The R3 956 average income seen in AMPS 2002B has risen to R4 142, which is a 12% increase. Taking a CPI of 10.4% into account, this represents a real growth of 1.4%. Incomes showed a real growth of 2% in the previous survey.

Education levels improve slightly

Following the significant improvements seen in education levels in the previous AMPS survey, advances in education have slowed. Basic literacy (92.4%), functional literacy (79.9%), and the average level of education have remained stable compared to AMPS 2002B. The levels of no schooling, primary education completed, and matric plus, have shown no significant improvements over the last survey.

  • No school - 7.8% (down from 8.2% in 2002B)
  • Primary school completed - 79.9% (up from 79.5% in 2002B)
  • Matric plus - 33.4% (stable on 33.5% in 2002B)
  • A potential glimmer of hope on the employment front

    AMPS 2003A shows a faint glimmer on the employment front. The percentage of people classifying themselves as unemployed has dropped significantly, from 33.8% in the previous survey, to 32.6% in AMPS 2003A. There was also a slight, but not significant, decrease in the percentage of people saying they were "not working" (65.4%, down from 65.8%). The level of full-time and part-time work however, has not increased. This could indicate that people are no longer actively seeking employment, rather than that they have found employment.

  • Full-time work - 24.2% (7.211-million)
  • Part-time work - 10.4% (3.092-million)
  • Self-employed - 8.7% (2.59-million)
  • Not working (including students, housewives and retired people) - 65.4% (19.471-million)
  • Classify self as "unemployed" - 32.6% (9.696-million)
  • Access to services and possessions

    There has been no growth in access to electricity and water. The incidence of electrified households has remained at similar levels to the previous survey, at 83.2%, and water on site is slightly down, though not significantly, to 73.9% of households. Similarly unchanged are the incidences of various durables in the home. Only one significant change came through - DVD ownership is up from 2.5% to 3.5%, or 347 000 households. One area of change has been in telecommunications. As seen in other surveys, access to a phone, whether a landline or cellphone, continues to rise, from 42.3% previously to 44.4%. This increase is due entirely to continued growth in access to a cellphone - a significant increase from 24.1% to 27.4%. As expected, AMPS 2003A shows a familiar picture, with private cellphone ownership on the rise (from 23.4% to 26.7%), mainly due to the increase in the usage of pre-paid phones (up from 20.3% to 23.3%). Landline phones are down significantly, continuing a long-term downward slide - from 27.3% in AMPS 2002B to 26.2% currently.

    Financial services

    On the whole, activity in the financial services sector has been stable, with few significant changes across banking and policies, plans and investments. In the banking sector, there has been a significant decrease in the use of ATM cards, down from 28.3% to 26.4%. This drop has been across a number of demographic and geo-demographic segments, which include urban areas, Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng, both males and females, 35+, and LSM 6+. The incidence of credit cards is up on the Reef. As far as policies, plans and investments are concerned, the only significant decline was in retirement policies, a drop from 6.2% in the previous survey, to 5.5%. This decline was seen across five demographic filters - in metros and large urban areas, amongst males, in 35+, and LSM 7-8. Significant demographic increases were seen for investments and endowments (up in small urban areas), and for those without any policies (up in the Western Cape and Cape Town).

    Source: For the complete AMPS 2003A data, visit the SAARF website at

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