We’re a bunch of couch potatoes in South Africa – study

2013-08-28 14:32

South Africans are couch potatoes who either spend most of their time at work or watching television, according to Stats SA.

This was revealed today at a press conference in Pretoria where analysis of the Time User Survey was released, based on research conducted in 2010.

Deputy director-general of population and social statistics Kefiloe Masiteng said the research would inform government policies on socioeconomic development.

Masiteng said the results reveal that South Africans either spend most of their time on paid work and watching television.

The survey also found that men spent more time than women on work-related activities, while women spent most of the time taking care of the household.

“Women spent more time than men on household maintenance and caring for children and other household members.”

The research also found that men spent more time than women on community-service activities, while, on average, boys and girls aged between 10 and 19 spent more time on leisure activities than on learning.

“If only those who participated in learning and leisure activities are considered, the time is equally spread between the two activities,” said the report.

The survey found that:

» South Africans spend 29.4% of their time per day engaged in work and salaried employment, unpaid work or looking for work;

» South Africans spend 14.1% of their time each day crop farming, collecting firewood and water, hunting, fishing or animal rearing;

» South Africans spend 6.5% of their time each day preparing and selling food, street vending, extending their homes and on processing food and preservation.

» About 51.3% of men spend their time on the above-mentioned activities per day, which affects the country’s GDP, compared with 39.9% of women;

» But 91.8% of women spend their time doing household maintenance, caring for persons or working on community-service activities that do not have any effect on the country’s GDP, said Masiteng.

On average, the survey estimated that South Africans spend three hours per day on household maintenance, an hour-and-a-half taking care of other people at home and two hours on community service.

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