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Occasional Reports

Broken Blue Line 2

This is the second report of the Broken Blue Line project – the first having been published by the IRR in 2011. As in 2011 this 2015 report examines the extent to which the police are involved in perpetrating criminal violence.

There should be no need for such a report as the police should be our primary line of defence against criminal violence. However, as you will read, in too many cases that line of defence has broken down and the supposed defenders have become perpetrators. As long as the police service remains a home to violent criminals it is very unlikely that South Africa will experience a sustained and significant decline in serious and violent crime. It is essential therefore that pressure be brought to bear on political authorities to take police criminality seriously and deal with it effectively. Creating such pressure is also one of the most effective means by which South Africa can support the eff orts of hard working and committed members of the police service.

Our thanks are extended to the civil rights organisation AfriForum which provided the funding for this report. Without their commitment and investment in the safety of South Africa’s people this report would not have been produced.

2015 Index of Economic Freedom

The 21st edition of the Index of Economic Freedom evaluates economic conditions and government policies in 186 countries.

Since its inception in 1995, the Index, an annual cross-country analysis by The Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal, has tracked the progress of economic freedom around the globe and measured the impact of advancing economic liberty.

Like its predecessors, the 2015 Index provides ample evidence of dynamic gains from greater economic freedom, both for individuals and for societies. There is no single formula for overcoming challenges to economic development and maintaining prosperity, but one thing is clear: Around the world, governments that respect and promote economic freedom provide greater opportunities for innovation, progress, and human flourishing.

 Download the full report

 See how South Africa is doing

Find out more about the Index of Economic Freedom

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.

Digging For Development: The mining industry in South Africa and its role in socio-economic 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.

The context of this investigation was the horrific event of 16th August 2012 that had seen the South African police open fire on a group of protesting mineworkers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa’s North West Province.

Adobe PDF

The 80-20 Report on Local Government

The 80/20 Report on Local Government 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.

Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe: A Report on the Voters' Roll in Zimbabwe

Have you ever heard of a voters’ roll with large numbers of 110-year-olds on it, all born on the same day? Or a small African country whose electorate contains more than 40,000 centenarians – and not a few child voters, some of them as young as two-years-old?...Welcome to the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the Zimbabwean voters’ roll.” The Zimbabwean voters’ roll, as it stood in October 2010, has been analysed for the first time by Professor R W Johnson in a ground-breaking report. This report, entitled Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe, has been published by the Institute and is now available here.

Adobe PDF

First Steps to Healing the South African Family

This report presents research by the South African Institute of Race Relations into the state of South African families and youth. The first part will describe the situation and structure of families, from orphans and child-headed households, through to absent fathers and single parents, as well as the effect of poverty on the family.

The second part will look at South African youth in relation to social breakdown in families. It will include a discussion of education and youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, attitudes to sex and teenage pregnancy, youth violence and crime, drug and alcohol use, and mental health and self-perceptions. In December 2010 the Institute held a seminar inviting representatives of child welfare, youth, and family organisations to provide feedback on our preliminary research and to give us insight into their experiences working on the ground with the issues covered by the research.

Some of the points raised at the seminar have been included in this report. This research would not have been possible without sponsorship from the Donaldson Trust, to whom we here record our thanks.

Adobe PDF

Broken Blue Line: the Involvement of the South African Police Force in Serious and Violent Crime in South Africa

South Africans have become accustomed to media reports alleging the involvement of policemen or ‘people dressed in police uniforms’ in serious crimes. The Institute and its Unit for Risk Analysis have become increasingly concerned at the number and nature of these reports.

To try and determine the scale of the problem, the Institute assigned a researcher to source as much information as possible on the involvement of police officers in committing crime.

The results were alarming. The Institute consulted journalists, media reports, and information from the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). Within a week, a list of over 100 separate incidents alleging and/or confirming the police’s involvement in serious crimes was drawn up. The Institute’s researchers stopped looking for more incidents after compiling this list of the initial 100. This report provides an analysis of these 100 incidents and proposes a number of policy interventions for the Government to consider. The Institute has been encouraged that the administration of President Jacob Zuma has done away with much of the crime denialism that characterised the Mbeki era and also that General Bheki Cele seems sincere about re-instilling discipline and order in his police.

This report is conceived to capitalise on these positive developments and to support legislators and the police in making better policing policy in South Africa. The report will be made available to MPs, MPLs, the South African Police Force, and the media. Top tier Institute subscribers can log in to download the report below. Other users and interested parties may purchase the report online.

Adobe PDF


IRR TV

Broken Blue Line 2

This is the second report of the Broken Blue Line project – the first having been published by the IRR in 2011. As in 2011 this 2015 report examines the extent to which the police are involved in perpetrating criminal violence.

There should be no need for such a report as the police should be our primary line of defence against criminal violence. However, as you will read, in too many cases that line of defence has broken down and the supposed defenders have become perpetrators. As long as the police service remains a home to violent criminals it is very unlikely that South Africa will experience a sustained and significant decline in serious and violent crime. It is essential therefore that pressure be brought to bear on political authorities to take police criminality seriously and deal with it effectively. Creating such pressure is also one of the most effective means by which South Africa can support the eff orts of hard working and committed members of the police service.

Our thanks are extended to the civil rights organisation AfriForum which provided the funding for this report. Without their commitment and investment in the safety of South Africa’s people this report would not have been produced.

2015 Index of Economic Freedom

The 21st edition of the Index of Economic Freedom evaluates economic conditions and government policies in 186 countries.

Since its inception in 1995, the Index, an annual cross-country analysis by The Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with The Wall Street Journal, has tracked the progress of economic freedom around the globe and measured the impact of advancing economic liberty.

Like its predecessors, the 2015 Index provides ample evidence of dynamic gains from greater economic freedom, both for individuals and for societies. There is no single formula for overcoming challenges to economic development and maintaining prosperity, but one thing is clear: Around the world, governments that respect and promote economic freedom provide greater opportunities for innovation, progress, and human flourishing.

 Download the full report

 See how South Africa is doing

Find out more about the Index of Economic Freedom

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.

Digging For Development: The mining industry in South Africa and its role in socio-economic 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.

The context of this investigation was the horrific event of 16th August 2012 that had seen the South African police open fire on a group of protesting mineworkers at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in South Africa’s North West Province.

Adobe PDF

The 80-20 Report on Local Government

The 80/20 Report on Local Government 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.

Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe: A Report on the Voters' Roll in Zimbabwe

Have you ever heard of a voters’ roll with large numbers of 110-year-olds on it, all born on the same day? Or a small African country whose electorate contains more than 40,000 centenarians – and not a few child voters, some of them as young as two-years-old?...Welcome to the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the Zimbabwean voters’ roll.” The Zimbabwean voters’ roll, as it stood in October 2010, has been analysed for the first time by Professor R W Johnson in a ground-breaking report. This report, entitled Preventing Electoral Fraud in Zimbabwe, has been published by the Institute and is now available here.

Adobe PDF

First Steps to Healing the South African Family

This report presents research by the South African Institute of Race Relations into the state of South African families and youth. The first part will describe the situation and structure of families, from orphans and child-headed households, through to absent fathers and single parents, as well as the effect of poverty on the family.

The second part will look at South African youth in relation to social breakdown in families. It will include a discussion of education and youth unemployment, HIV/AIDS, attitudes to sex and teenage pregnancy, youth violence and crime, drug and alcohol use, and mental health and self-perceptions. In December 2010 the Institute held a seminar inviting representatives of child welfare, youth, and family organisations to provide feedback on our preliminary research and to give us insight into their experiences working on the ground with the issues covered by the research.

Some of the points raised at the seminar have been included in this report. This research would not have been possible without sponsorship from the Donaldson Trust, to whom we here record our thanks.

Adobe PDF

Broken Blue Line: the Involvement of the South African Police Force in Serious and Violent Crime in South Africa

South Africans have become accustomed to media reports alleging the involvement of policemen or ‘people dressed in police uniforms’ in serious crimes. The Institute and its Unit for Risk Analysis have become increasingly concerned at the number and nature of these reports.

To try and determine the scale of the problem, the Institute assigned a researcher to source as much information as possible on the involvement of police officers in committing crime.

The results were alarming. The Institute consulted journalists, media reports, and information from the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). Within a week, a list of over 100 separate incidents alleging and/or confirming the police’s involvement in serious crimes was drawn up. The Institute’s researchers stopped looking for more incidents after compiling this list of the initial 100. This report provides an analysis of these 100 incidents and proposes a number of policy interventions for the Government to consider. The Institute has been encouraged that the administration of President Jacob Zuma has done away with much of the crime denialism that characterised the Mbeki era and also that General Bheki Cele seems sincere about re-instilling discipline and order in his police.

This report is conceived to capitalise on these positive developments and to support legislators and the police in making better policing policy in South Africa. The report will be made available to MPs, MPLs, the South African Police Force, and the media. Top tier Institute subscribers can log in to download the report below. Other users and interested parties may purchase the report online.

Adobe PDF


Free Society Project