National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM)

Dates: May 2020 –  May 2021.

Funding: The funders of the CRAM project, of which NIDS-CRAM forms a component, were The Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy, the Federated Employer’s Mutual (FEM) Education Fund, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

SALDRU people: Reza Daniels and Vimal Ranchhod.

Coverage: Nationally representative of the 2017 South African population.

Initial Sample size (May/June 2020): 7000 individuals.

Data: The survey’s data, questionnaires, technical documents and program library are available for download from DataFirst’s Open Data Portal.

Included sections: Demographics; Household Composition and Structure; Labour and Income; Household and Social Outcomes; Health and COVID-19.


NIDS-CRAM is the National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey. The survey investigates the socioeconomic impacts of the national lockdowns associated with the State of Disaster declared in South Africa in March 2020, and the social and economic consequences of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

NIDS-CRAM is a special follow up with a sub-sample of those aged 18 and over in 2020, from households which were interviewed in the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) Wave 5 (2017). Though NIDS-CRAM is a follow up with NIDS respondents, in comparison to the core NIDS panel study, NIDS-CRAM uses a much shorter questionnaire, with a focus on the Coronavirus pandemic and the national lockdowns. The mode of the survey also changed from face-to-face to Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) surveys which will be repeated over several months.

Wave 1 data collection was conducted in May and June 2020; Wave 2 between mid-July and mid-August 2020; Wave 3 between November and mid-December 2020; Wave 4 between the beginning of February and mid-March 2021 and Wave 5 between April and mid-May 2021.

NIDS-CRAM was 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.