History of the IRR

From its inception the IRR concentrated on the investigation of social and economic conditions in order to influence the decisions of policy makers. From 1933 it produced a quarterly Race Relations Journal which contained articles by the leading economists, political analysts, and sociologists of the day.
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History of the IRR

From its inception the IRR concentrated on the investigation of social and economic conditions in order to influence the decisions of policy makers. From 1933 it produced a quarterly Race Relations Journal which contained articles by the leading economists, political analysts, and sociologists of the day.

From 1936 it produced a monthly eight-page newsletter called Race Relations News which contained reports, articles, and comments on recent events (In 1991 this was replaced by Fast Facts). From 1947 it produced the annual South Africa Survey which is still published today.The IRR spoke out clearly and unequivocally against apartheid policies. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the Institute found itself in growing opposition to government policy designed to ruthlessly establish a racially segregated society.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the IRR emerged as the leading anti-apartheid think-tank as it used its formidable policy expertise to undermine the ideas underpinning that system and propose a workable alternative South Africa. It has believed throughout its history, as it does today, that a secure and peaceful future can be built only on the principle of one South African nation of different racial and ethnic groups, each allowed to maintain its own cultural identity, all united in a common loyalty, but all tolerant of diversity and dissent.

The South African Institute of Race Relations was born in a climate of thought utterly different from that of today. White rule had been firmly imposed over vast areas of the globe. In Africa the only independent states apart from the Union of South Africa were Egypt, Ethiopia, and Liberia.

Ellen Hellmann, The South African Institute of Race Relations: A Short History

Throughout its history, the IRR has had a significant influence over ideas and policies in South Africa.

The South African Constitution, which is a fundamentally liberal document, is one example.

Likewise our arguments on the need to reform labour markets and to empower the poor to find work are now widely echoed in the media and business – and at times in government. The same is true for our arguments on shaping empowerment policies so that these pull new generations into the middle classes. Our argument that it is necessary to free the business and investment environment from red tape is increasingly cited in government policy.

Our defence of property rights led to the redrafting of expropriation legislation. Similarly our work on trade unions and strike violence became the basis of legislation holding unions accountable for damage caused during strike action. Policy research we did into family life became the basis of new legislation seeking to better meet the needs of vulnerable women and children. Our defence of judicial independence has done much to safeguard the standing and credibility of the courts.

Our argument that job creation should be South Africa’s single most important policy priority now attracts broad government support.

IRR TV

From 1936 it produced a monthly eight-page newsletter called Race Relations News which contained reports, articles, and comments on recent events (In 1991 this was replaced by Fast Facts). From 1947 it produced the annual South Africa Survey which is still published today.The IRR spoke out clearly and unequivocally against apartheid policies. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the Institute found itself in growing opposition to government policy designed to ruthlessly establish a racially segregated society.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the IRR emerged as the leading anti-apartheid think-tank as it used its formidable policy expertise to undermine the ideas underpinning that system and propose a workable alternative South Africa. It has believed throughout its history, as it does today, that a secure and peaceful future can be built only on the principle of one South African nation of different racial and ethnic groups, each allowed to maintain its own cultural identity, all united in a common loyalty, but all tolerant of diversity and dissent.

The South African Institute of Race Relations was born in a climate of thought utterly different from that of today. White rule had been firmly imposed over vast areas of the globe. In Africa the only independent states apart from the Union of South Africa were Egypt, Ethiopia, and Liberia.

Ellen Hellmann, The South African Institute of Race Relations: A Short History

Throughout its history, the IRR has had a significant influence over ideas and policies in South Africa.

The South African Constitution, which is a fundamentally liberal document, is one example.

Likewise our arguments on the need to reform labour markets and to empower the poor to find work are now widely echoed in the media and business – and at times in government. The same is true for our arguments on shaping empowerment policies so that these pull new generations into the middle classes. Our argument that it is necessary to free the business and investment environment from red tape is increasingly cited in government policy.

Our defence of property rights led to the redrafting of expropriation legislation. Similarly our work on trade unions and strike violence became the basis of legislation holding unions accountable for damage caused during strike action. Policy research we did into family life became the basis of new legislation seeking to better meet the needs of vulnerable women and children. Our defence of judicial independence has done much to safeguard the standing and credibility of the courts.

Our argument that job creation should be South Africa’s single most important policy priority now attracts broad government support.

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