South African Data Archive










Contact us:
South African Data Archive
National Research Foundation
P.O. Box 2600
Pretoria 0001
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)12 481 4120
or +27 (0)12 481 4016
Fax: +27 (0)12 481 4231


The South African Data Archive serves as a broker between a range of data providers (for example, statistical agencies, government departments, opinion and market research companies and academic institutions) and the research community. The archive does not only preserve data for future use, but all adds value to the collections. It safeguards datasets and related documentation and attempts to make it as easily accessible as possible for research and educational purposes.

Existing research data can be an invaluable source for further studies. Such data are, however, currently scattered throughout the country. By preserving this research information in a single resource centre like SADA, unnecessary and costly duplication of research are decreased while the quality of the research findings are enhanced by using data from experienced researchers both locally and internationally.

Objectives of SADA are to

  • acquire and catalogue survey data and related information.
  • preserve such data against technological obsolescence and physical damage.
  • re-disseminate such information for use by other researchers, for re-analysis of data, longitudinal and comparative studies, research training, teaching and policy-making decision purposes.
  • formulate policies for the scope and content of data and data preservation.
  • promote the optimal use of data.

SADA adds value to its collections in the following ways:

  • Comprehensive machine-readable codebooks are developed, which include an abstract, sampling methodology and questionnaire. This documentation is published in open access on the data portal.
  • Metadata is added to the datasets and made accessible through electronic search and retrieval systems, for example Internet.
Advantages of data archiving
  • Data archives ensure that the depositors' work is protected from extinction, and whenever depositors need to make use of it, they would simply request it from the archive, which stores the data in an orderly and compact manner.
  • Data that has been archived can also be used to test or develop new theories, generalize or extend findings and/or answer new questions.
  • Archiving leads to data sharing across disciplines, often resulting in new methodologies and theories being developed.
  • Research students in particular, often have a limited time frame within which to complete their programmes. It would not be feasible to undertake a reasonably good project conducting primary research within such a limited time. In this respect, a data archive would provide an answer, matching research quality, costs and time.

View All Datasets

Labour and Business

Political Studies

Social Studies

Surveys and Censuses

Recent Data Submissions

SADA is covered by data citation index
Data Citation Index

world data system
ICSU World Data Systems

ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods