NIDS-CRAM Participants

What is NIDS-CRAM?
NIDS-CRAM is the National Income Dynamics Study - Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey. The survey investigates the socioeconomic impacts of the national lockdown associated with the State of Disaster declared in March 2020, and the social and economic consequences of the current global Coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the study is to provide evidence to support policy to help South Africa.

Who is running this study?
The study is run by researchers from three universities: the University of Cape Town (UCT), University of Stellenbosch and the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).

How long will the interview take?
The survey will be over the phone and should only take about 20 minutes.

Why have I been contacted?
NIDS-CRAM is a special follow up to randomly selected people from households who were interviewed in 2017 by NIDS. 

Remind me, what is NIDS?
The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) is a survey that has been run by the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). It studies the well-being of South Africans, the households they live in and how these change over time. People’s participation in the study has allowed researchers to show important insights that have informed South Africa’s policymaking.

It started in 2008 when around 28 000 people across South Africa were interviewed. Over the years, more people were interviewed, with almost 40 000 people interviewed in 2017.

What sort of questions will I be asked?
We would like to ask you some questions about yourself, your employment situation, your household, and your health. You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to.

How will I be interviewed?
The survey will use a much shorter questionnaire than was previously used in NIDS and the interviews for the survey will be via the phone instead of face-to-face.

Why should I participate?
Your participation will help the study collect information that could be useful to policymakers to know the difficulties that people are experiencing in these challenging times. Participating is voluntary and you can stop at any time, ask questions, or choose to not answer any question. There are no risks to your participation. We do not pay people for participating in the survey. However, you will receive a small gift as a token of our appreciation for your participation. You will also be added into a lucky draw every time you participate. Read more about why your participation is so important.

Will my information be kept confidential?
Your information will be kept confidential and anonymous. We are gathering information from thousands of people like you so that we can understand more clearly what the effects of Coronavirus and the lockdown are in the country. Before any research results are presented, the details and the answers that you give will be grouped together with the responses from other participants such that no one will be able to identify you and your responses. Any information linked to you is kept completely confidential.

Has this study received ethics approval?
Yes, the study has been approved by the University of Cape Town (UCT) Commerce Ethics Committee.  View the ethics approval letter from UCT and the reciprocal ethics approval letter from Stellenbosch University.

Who should I contact if I have any concerns?
If you have any concerns feel free to contact Reza Daniels, one of the NIDS-CRAM Principal Investigators, on 021 650 4100.  You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Where can I get reliable information about Coronavirus?
For information on South Africa’s response to COVID-19 please visit the COVID-19 Coronavirus South African Resource Portal:  

In case you need it, the Coronavirus emergency hotline number is 0800 029 999.