About us

The IRR produces, disseminates, and promotes the new ideas that South African policy makers need in order to promote the investment and economic growth that will draw poor people into jobs and build a more prosperous South Africa.

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CRA

The CRA uses scenario based research to anticipate and advise on future social, economic, and political trends in South Africa.

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Bursary programme

The IRR is proud to have been funding the education of poor South Africans, regardless of race, since 1935. Since 1980 we have provided more than R221 million in bursary funding and produced over 3 600 medical, business, management, scientific, education, and engineering graduates. This has been a major contribution to economic empowerment in South Africa - since long before the idea became popular.

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Latest Releases
FileTime to wake up to affirmative action dangers
Official data on wastewater management at municipal level show that very large numbers of people are potentially at risk, says the IRR (Institute of Race Relations).
File@Liberty - From Last Grave at Dimbaza to three tiny graves at Bloemhof
By a strange coincidence the Sunday Times on 8th June published an obituary of Nana Mahomo at almost the same time as the South African Institute of Race Relations issued a press release suggesting that affirmative action was partly responsible for the deaths of three babies in Bloemhof.
South Africa Survey

The IRR's annual South Africa Survey has become the leading economic, social, and political review of data trends on South Africa. Running to over 900 pages it has fourteen chapters covering demographics, the economy, public finance, employment, assets and incomes, business and infrastructure industrial relations, education, health, social security, living conditions, communications, crime and security and politics and government

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Fast Facts

A monthly report, which features in-depth data analyses across a range of policy areas and is distributed to Centre for Risk Analysis clients and thousands of recipients in business, government, civil society, and the media every month.

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@Liberty

@Liberty is the IRR's main policy platform and the vehicle it uses to get its policy proposals and solutions into the public domain. It is a free to access document that is circulated to thousands of subscribers. The IRR encourages its wide dissemination.

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The Free Society Project

The Free Society Project is the major outreach initiative of the IRR. It is directed at ensuring that South Africa remains a free and open democratic society while creating the economic opportunities necessary to free South Africans from poverty, unemployment, and inequality.

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Civil Society Support Project

Via our Civil Society Support Programme we help civil society groups in meeting the social and economic needs of their beneficiaries. The information we provide helps them to better serve their communities and provides them with assistance to write funding proposals to donors, identifying areas of socio-economic need, identifying new project possibilities, and benchmarking socio-economic progress in the country.

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Democracy Support Programme

Through the Democracy Support Programme we empower elected representatives to identify policy challenges, benchmark social and economic progress, and support initiatives that will ensure political and economic freedom. Over 2000 elected representatives across all political parties who subscribe at no cost to all our reports and services free of charge via the Democracy Support Programme.

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Media Alert Service

Through the Media Alert Service we directly support journalists with access to information on South Africa. Nearly 650 media agencies, bureaus, newspapers, television stations and radio stations around the world are subscribed to the Media Alert Service.

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Time Traveller

The time traveller scenarios are a major research and policy initiative at the IRR. The scenarios describe four future South Africa’s and the policy decisions that will lead us into those diverse futures. A book on the scenarios is titled A Time Travellers Guide to Our Next Ten Years and is available from all good bookshops. A briefing on the scenarios is very popular and can be arranged by clicking here.

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People's War

Fifteen years have passed since South Africans were being shot or hacked or burned to death in political conflict; and the memory of the trauma has faded. Some 20 500 people were nevertheless killed between 1984 and 1994. The conventional wisdom is that they died at the hands of a state-backed Third Force, but the more accurate explanation is that they died as a result of the people’s war the ANC unleashed.

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Chasing the rainbow

Fifteen years after the triumph of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as South Africa’s first black president – and particularly since Jacob Zuma became president – the ‘rainbow nation’ seems to be drifting and in search of a new policy direction to help it overcome its daunting challenges.

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The Long Shadow of Apartheid

The Institute’s research on changing racial sentiment in South Africa since 1994 has been published under the title The Long Shadow of Apartheid: Race in South Africa since 1994. The research includes interviews with senior business and academic leaders in South Africa. The project was funded through a grant from the Maurice Webb Trust.

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Digging for Development

In December 2012 the Embassy of Sweden commissioned the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) to investigate the socio-economic circumstances of mineworkers in South Africa.

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The 80-20 Report on Local Government

This report examines the structure, roles, and responsibilities of local government, tracks the history of local government from the apartheid era into the present, provides hard data on socio-economic circumstances in each of South Africa’s local authorities, ranks all municipalities according to service delivery indicators, provides analysis of the data, and proposes solutions to the problems facing local government.

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Subscriptions & Sales

Access to most IRR reports and services requires a subscription. Corporate and government users are required to pay a subscription fee through our consulting arm - the Centre for Risk Analysis. However, other users, such as journalists and small civil society groups, should be able to access a no-cost subscription through one of our outreach and advocacy programmes.

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Upcoming Events
"The Economists" briefing
The IRR invites you to our annual “The Economists” briefing. For this year’s event, we have assembled four of South Africa’s most influential economic thinkers.
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