Latest from the IRR

The ANC succession battle: An assessment - Politicsweb, 19 October 2017

The point of the exercise is that slight changes in variables have such a rollercoaster effect on the result that only a gambler would allow a straight race to occur at year-end. Consider also that even if you were certain of the winner the very closeness of the contest will exacerbate internal divisions and perhaps cause enough internal damage to leave the winning faction presiding over a spent and fatally wounded organisation.

Here’s more evidence why BEE will never work - BizNews, 18 October 2017

According to Treasury’s report, about 6.5m people currently belong to occupational retirement funds. Of these members, 67% are black African, 12% are ‘coloured’, 4% are Indian, and 17% are white. Equivalent figures for RA fund members are not provided, but the demographic spread may be much the same.

Robust property rights essential for SA’s future prosperity - BizNews, 16 October 2017

A key issue here is property rights. The protection of private property has long been a sticking point in South Africa’s politics. Prior to 1994, the liberation movements envisaged a post-apartheid government seizing large parts of the economy, and wielding them for the common good. Land would ‘be shared among those who work it’, and large industry would be transferred to ‘the people as a whole’ – in a word, nationalised. ‘Property rights’ represented a capricious mechanism to retain an unjust status quo.

Back to the 1980s - Politicsweb, 16 October 2017

Recorded in its Monetary Policy Review published earlier this month, the statement amounts to a damning indictment of the management of the economy by the ruling African National Congress (ANC). The economy is "stagnant" despite "strong" global growth and easy financing options. Domestic growth has stalled because of "political and policy uncertainty" which has "depressed confidence". As a result, "investment is contracting" and potential growth is "very low".

The red famines - Politicsweb, 09 October 2017

This makes the recent publication of another book by Anne Applebaum especially timely. Entitled Red Famine: Stalin's war on Ukraine, it argues that four million people died of hunger in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 in a man-made famine unleashed by the Soviet state.

Stalingrad strategy: How Zuma is trying ‘bait and switch’ to avoid 783 charges - Biznews, 04 Occtober 2017

This clear wording in Section 1979 is also in keeping with what the provision was intended to achieve. Section 179 is the ‘McNally’ clause: so named after Tim McNally, the then attorney general of KwaZulu-Natal, who had earned the ANC’s ire by allegedly failing to prosecute enough of the ‘Third Force’ killers supposedly responsible for the upsurge in political violence in the province in the early 1990s.

Here's why SA needs a new approach to empowerment - News24, 12 September 2017

At the same time, empowerment policy as practised is increasingly coming to serve as a tool of wealth extraction for a politically connected elite. More and more, the recent Mining Charter being a prime example, we see a pattern of policy makers using harsh regulatory mechanisms, passed in the supposed interests of transformation or redress, to extract wealth from private sector companies.

A new approach to empowerment in mining

6 September 2017 - South Africa urgently needs a new approach to empowerment in mining, says the IRR in a report released today in its @Liberty policy bulletin.

'Black hair' rules in schools: A reality check - Politicsweb, 03 September 2017

Pupils at a public high school in a West Rand township visited two weeks ago were inspected by a "patroller" as they entered through the school gates. The headmistress explained that this was to ensure that they did not wear "branded clothing" instead of the school uniform, which included ties on boys. Pupils who wore such clothing tended to show off, which she did not think appropriate when 40% of all the pupils lived in shacks. These "show-offs" also tended to be more rebellious.