The characteristics of volunteers in South Africa

Working paper 480
Author(s): 
Ferdinand Niyimbanira & Waldo Krugell
Publication date: 
November, 2014

Volunteers are people who supply labour for the production of goods and services, for the benefit of others. Volunteer work is of significance in a time when social safety nets are weak and there are ever increasing demands on welfare organisations. The question is, who are these good Samaritans? This paper uses data from the South African Volunteer Activities Survey and examines the links between individuals’ resources and volunteerism, tests the consumption model and looks for confirmation of the investment model of volunteerism. The results show that Blacks volunteer on average almost double the number of hours that the other population groups do, but this cannot be explained by individual assets such as gender, education, work status and income. Other factors play a role and more research is needed.

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