Latest from the IRR

Panyaza Lesufi, bully - Politicsweb

28 January 2018 - Yet one of the biggest bullies on the South African educational scene is the political head of the department, Panyaza Lesufi, member of the executive council (MEC) for education in Gauteng. He also appears to have a policy of "zero tolerance" towards Afrikaans schools, including Afrikaans schools most of whose pupils are coloured rather than white.

The road to Vrede - Politicsweb

25 January 2018 - Perhaps the key idea here is not about whether land reform should take place, but its terms and objectives. ‘The “land question”,’ they write, ‘strikes a chord for many people and serves as a potent symbol of persistent poverty and structural inequality.’

Op-Ed: Ramaphosa in Davos – will he heed the lessons as Mandela did? - Daily Maverick

25 January 2018 - Given the reasons for which South Africa’s State-owned Enterprises have been much in the news of late, we should be grateful that Mandela heeded the warnings on nationalisation. The land reform experiences in Vietnam and China are particularly instructive. Both of these fed on real grievances on the part of the peasantry – but were so overpowered by ideology that their outcomes, quite predictably, exacted huge costs.

Best township schools point way to overhauling education

25 January 2018 – Policy Fellow John Kane-Berman’s report acknowledges the achievements of a sample of 12 top-scoring public and independent schools in Gauteng, and reveals the scope for significant improvements in South Africa’s notoriously deficient education system.

Mission (near) impossible for Team SA at #Davos2018 - IOL

24 January 2018 - A good showing in Davos could help get South Africa back on track. And so, as any number of media reports have stated, Team SA will be going to Davos to advance a positive view of South Africa’s future. Key to this – as an article in one of the Sunday papers put it – would be the ‘Cyril effect’.

Hoërskool Overvaal: Lesufi's awful record - Politicsweb

24 January 2018 - “The school's Afrikaans-only language policy was previously rejected by the education department”, and that “Afrikaans was a language that symbolised ‘sorrow and tears to the majority of those (of) whom it was not their mother tongue’”.

Gauteng education department's master class in delusion - News24 Gauteng education department's master class in delusion - News24

23 January 2018 - How long the charade will last is hard to tell, but the Gauteng department of education has to date done very well in getting parents, activists, journalists and analysts to focus on almost everything other than the real problems confronting the education of their children.

The real hero of the H&M controversy - Politicsweb

21 January 2018 - South Africa's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) no doubt regard themselves as heroes for their acts of vandalism against H&M retail fashion shops in various parts of the country, but the real hero of this episode is Terry Mango, mother of the five-year-old boy who posed for an advertisement wearing a jumper bearing the words "coolest monkey in the jungle".

Van Onselen joins the IRR

17 January 2018 - Acclaimed political commentator and columnist, Gareth van Onselen, will be joining the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) as its new Head of Politics and Governance from January 22.

Ramaphosa sets the stage for a buffalo market - Daily Maverick

16 January 2018 - The “Buffalo Man” is a moniker for Cyril Ramaphosa that is likely to stick, not only because of his investments in rare game, but because his maiden January 8 statement sets the stage for a buffalo market as a feature of his administration.

All animals are equal, except the Afrikaans ones - Politicsweb

14 January 2018 - In July 2016, that court criticised the civil rights group Afriforum for "advancing illegitimate sectarian interests through legal stratagems" by making use of the constitution and the courts. At issue was an attempt by Afriforum to prevent the changing of certain street names in Pretoria. This was held to be an intolerable attempt to perpetuate apartheid.

Expropriation without compensation: about so much more than land - Voices360

12 January 2018 - So goes the narrative around the controversial policy stance adopted by the ANC’s 54th elective conference last month. For supporters and detractors alike, it is a policy aimed at South Africa’s farmland and its farming economy, something which most of the country will watch – with anticipation or trepidation – from afar

Expropriation without Compensation: not just about land

12 January 2018 - The Institute of Race Relations has taken note of the widespread confusion around the proposal adopted by the African National Congress at its recent elective conference pledging expropriation without compensation to drive land reform.

Robust property rights the key to tackling the legacy of dispossession - News24

10 January 2018 - As a policy direction, expropriation without compensation rests on the premise that the failure of South Africa’s land reform programme has substantively been the consequence of resistance, both direct and indirect. Since 1994, only around 10% of agricultural land has been transferred out of white ownership through state programmes. In this narrative, the state has had to negotiate a labyrinth deliberately constructed to stifle transformation. This includes uncooperative property owners, malicious and venal price inflation, these having been enabled by compromises made in the writing of the Constitution – a "compromise tilted heavily in favour of forces against change", as former Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi once put it. In some quarters, the very notion of private ownership is suspect.

Mining could still bridge SA's unemployment gap - BizCommunity

9 January 2018 - As the year begins, there is little for South Africa's unemployed to celebrate. With an unemployment rate sitting at historic highs, and nothing in the country's current growth trajectory - riding at below 1% - millions of South Africans lack not only work, but the prospect of finding any. This lethal combination of deprivation and retarded prospects constitutes the single biggest threat to the country's future.

Impeachment mirage must not derail no-confidence vote - Politicsweb

7 January 2018 - If nothing else, however, electoral considerations give the ANC an interest in getting rid of Mr Zuma as soon as possible. Whereas impeachment is a quasi-judicial process, at the end of which removal would require a two-thirds majority, there is a much swifter, cleaner, and simpler solution. This is the parliamentary no-confidence vote, which is a political remedy that requires only a simple majority

Land expropriation without compensation: Implications of a seismic shift – BizNews

5 January 2018 - If there was ever any doubt that a reckless mishandling of land policy represented a real threat to South Africa’s future, the ANC’s recent national conference has put that to rest. Its resolution on land expropriation without compensation constitutes a profound danger not only to the agricultural sector, or to the economy as a whole, but to the rights and prospects of South Africa’s citizens.

George Palmer and the FM in the 1970s - Politicsweb

5 January 2018 - Palmer sometimes toned down some of my articles, but otherwise he allowed me as much freedom as I could reasonably have wished for – although on one occasion at an editorial meeting when I suggested yet another political leader, he thumped his desk and declared "I want stories about making money!"

Profiling the provinces - News24

4 January 2018 - Profiling the provinces – written by the IRR's head of research, Thuthukani Ndebele – offers a snapshot view of South Africa's nine provinces through the lens of key socio-economic indicators. A brief summary for each province covers data on demographics, the economy, education, health and social security, living conditions, politics and government, as well as crime and security