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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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


2015 Index of Economic Freedom

The 21st Index of Economic Freedom 2015 by the Heritage Foundation, based in Washington D.C., United States, was launched on Tuesday, 27 January 2015.

The Index was publicised in South Africa by the IRR.
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IRR TV, the IRR's exclusive television channel is jam-packed with interviews, reports, research, and policy solutions.

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IRR Report Launch: Broken Blue Line 2

The is the second report of the Broken Blue Line project – the first having been published by the IRR in 2011. As in 2011, this report examines the extent to which the police are involved in perpetuating criminal violence.

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

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Limited Offer enquiry form

As South Africa enters a period of deepening economic and political uncertainty the Centre for Risk Analysis at the IRR is making available a limited client offer to access the best strategic intelligence on South Africa’s future.

Take advantage of this offer..

Reports and Publications

At the IRR we publish a broad range of monthly, annual, and occasional reports on economic, social, and political trends and policy for South Africa. Some of these are free to access while others require subscriptions.

View all the IRR Reports & Publications

Patents and Prosperity

The Patents and Prosperity report is the culmination of an IRR research project into the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) rights in drawing and securing investment, growth, and development in South Africa. The report is critical of current government policy efforts and suggests the direction that government IP policy should follow.


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.

Browse Fast Facts for 2015...


@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.

Browse @Liberty reports...


The Centre for Risk Analysis (CRA) at the IRR has introduced an exciting publication, the RiskREPORT, which will be made available exclusively to premium subscribers of the CRA.

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Latest Releases
File The IRR's Better Expropriation Bill
22 April 2015 – The Expropriation Bill of 2015, recently put forward by public works minister Thulas Nxesi, (the Nxesi Bill) will make it much harder to build prosperity and overcome past disadvantage by undermining property rights, deterring investment, and choking off growth and jobs, warns the IRR (Institute of Race Relations).
Overview of the IRR's Proposed Expropriation Bill – 22 April 2015
The IRR’s alternative Expropriation Amendment Bill (a framework document which is also available on the IRR website), deals with direct and indirect expropriation by all expropriating authorities – whether the minister of works or any other organ of state. It covers both movable and immovable property as well as mining and water rights; mortgages, servitudes, and other registered rights; shares in companies; and intellectual property rights, including patent rights.
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.

Click here to join this programme...

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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BEE: Helping or Hurting?

South Africa has arguably the most comprehensive and challenging affirmative action policies of any country in the world. But is black economic empowerment (BEE) achieving its goal of correcting past injustices and opening up opportunities for black South Africans? Or is it in practice more harmful than helpful?

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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

Many 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. This book describes that war, its origins, and its consequences.

More info about the book...

Chasing the rainbow

Many analysts argue that the ‘rainbow nation’ seems to be drifting and in search of a new policy direction to help it overcome its daunting challenges. This book sets out many of the IRR's arguments on what has gone wrong and what must be done to turn South Africa around.

More info about the book...

The Long Shadow of Apartheid

This is a book on our research into changing social attitudes 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.

More info about the book...

Digging for Development

This 2014 report investigates the socio-economic circumstances of mineworkers in South Africa and policy initiatives to improve those circumstances. It is one of several occasional reports we produce every year.

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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.

View the full report...

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.


Upcoming Events
New York event: Engaging SA's Born Free Generation
The International Republican Institute, Freedom House and the South African Institute of Race Relations cordially invite you to a panel discussion: Engaging South Africa’s Born Free Generation: Prospects and Challenges
Invitation: Annual Frontier & Emerging Markets Forum
This forum will be hosted by Frontier Advisory on Wednesday, 15 April 2015, at the IDC in Sandton, Johannesburg.
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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