Cape Town - The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has appealed to the public to refrain from spreading false information about the organisation’s data collectors.
This follows a series of Facebook posts and WhatsApp voice messages circulating in recent weeks, particularly in the Free State, claiming that the HSRC data collectors are either defrauding or robbing communities.
The HSRC’s acting CEO Professor Leickness Simbayi said there was no truth in the circulating messages. He emphasised that community members’ safety was the organisation’s first priority.
“We therefore encourage members of the public to report any suspicious activity to the police or to verify the authenticity of HSRC fieldworkers with the organisation whenever they are in doubt. Our fieldworkers are often identifiable by their HSRC-marked bibs and identity cards. Their vehicles are also marked with various project logos on their doors. When our data collectors arrive at different households, they introduce themselves and provide an explanation for the purpose of their study,” Simbayi said.
Though participation in HSRC surveys is entirely voluntary, it is important that as many people living in South Africa as possible participate so that the data that is generated is accurate and constitutes a credible sample of the target population.
The data will inform the country’s response to various issues such as HIV-Aids, Covid-19, food and nutrition security, service delivery and more.
Some of the major HSRC surveys that are currently being conducted across the country include the sixth South African HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey; the South African national survey on health, life experiences and family relations; and the National Food and Nutrition Security Survey (NFNSS).
For more information about HSRC surveys or if members of the public are in doubt about data collectors, they can visit www.hsrc.ac.za or call 012 302 2000