Research & Policy Brief

Click here to sign up
Join the conversation
You are here: Home Reports & Publications Research & Policy Brief

Research & Policy Brief

Research & Policy Briefs have evolved into the @Liberty reports. Click here to view them.

Much progress in the 'transformation' of higher education - 20th September 2010.

New data to be published by the South African Institute of Race Relations shows that the transformation of higher education in South Africa over the past 20 years has been far more successful than commonly acknowledged. The data challenges the conception that higher education institutions in the country have resisted ‘transformation’ and that action needs to be taken against university leaders to make them ‘transform’. Rather, the data suggests that it is the Government which now retards the creation of new opportunities for previously disadvantaged groups to get a university education.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: Fifty-year review of matric results - 10th September 2010

Much has been said about the quality of schooling in South Africa. One debate that has continued to make the headlines is whether the school system of today is any better than that under apartheid. A number of commentators have charged that the public education system of today is no better than that of Bantu education. Others have responded that such a comparison is ridiculous. Some have pointed out that this debate even taking place points to a deep malaise in our public school system.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: NDR: the cornerstone of any policy analysis of South Africa - 27th August 2010

The current public service strike has brought to the fore the bitter nature of the power struggle at play in the ruling ANC/SACP/COSATU alliance. Our current assessment is that factions in the alliance, perhaps led by the ANC Youth League, are preparing to execute a political coup at the ANC’s 2012 conference in Bloemfontein. At its most serious this political shift may include the axing of Jacob Zuma and his forced resignation as president of South Africa. At the very least infighting ahead of the 2012 conference will continue to destabilize the alliance. This will have the effect of destabilizing the broader policy environment in the country and therefore causing a rise in levels of uncertainty about the future of the country. It is our assessment that it is only possible to make sense of the policy environment in South Africa by understanding the ANC’s concept of a National Democratic Revolution (NDR). The NDR is poorly understood in South Africa but it serves as the philosophical and ideological grounding of the ANC. Its origins, its importance after 1994, its consequences, and the countervailing forces acting against it are reviewed in the abridged analysis below.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: The Totalitarian Risk - 17th August 2010

Recent weeks have seen much dismay around the behavior of South Africa’s government. For it has tabled legislation to restrict access to government information, publicly endorsed a proposed media tribunal answerable to the ANC-dominated Parliament, detained a journalist, and snatched mining rights from two companies. Taken on a case by case basis these developments have done much damage to the reputation of the country. Taken as a whole they suggest that South Africa is beginning to display some of the early attributes of a totalitarian regime.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: ANC hit-list also includes civil society and NGO sectors - 6th August 2010

Much is being made of the ANC’s efforts to thwart media freedom in South Africa. Few people have realised, however, that the party is similarly gunning for the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) sector in the country. When the ANC has finished dealing with the Media, it is quite likely that the civil society sector will be next on their agenda.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Income track record shows roadmap for the future - 30th July 2010

The Institute’s South Africa Survey for 2009/10 is in the final stages of editing and will be published over coming weeks. In the run-up to its publication, this column is going to review a number of highlights from the forthcoming Survey. This week we focus on a fifty year review of per capita disposable income levels for South Africa.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Denialism all over again - 19th July 2010

It is odd that just two weeks after the country was taken over by Ghana-mania, reports of xenophobic attacks against immigrants from other African countries are making the headlines. How could the feeling that ‘we are all Africans’ vanish so quickly? Perhaps in the dazzle of the international spotlight and being swept away by the celebratory mood it was natural for South Africans to show allegiance to their continent, but the underlying factors that explained the xenophobic attacks in 2008 - and since - have not changed.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Why some schools work - 16th July 2010

SAIRR Today: Why some schools work - 16th July 2010

The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, has received much praise after announcing reforms to the Outcomes Based Education curriculum. However, the impact of the reforms will now be dependent mainly on the ability of the department to effectively manage and resource under-performing schools.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: How down-under came out on top - 9th July 2010

The Department of Minerals and Energy has missed a rare opportunity to reposition South Africa’s mining industry and attract new investment into that industry. It could learn much from how the Australian government recently responded to that country’s ‘mining tax crisis’.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: ‘New thinking’ needs to challenge policy and racial holy-cows - 1st July 2010

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that South Africa needs ‘new thinking’ on jobs and growth. This comes after StatsSA released data last week which showed that formal employment in South Africa declined by close on 3% over a period that saw the economy grow by 1.6%. As Business Day pointed out, this was not ‘jobless growth’ but ‘job shedding growth’. It remains to be seen what Mr Gordhan’s ‘new thinking’ may be, but it may be a good time to consider how South Africa measures up against some of the attributes of successful free market economies.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Does the ANC have a special relationship with the police? - 25th June 2010

The allegation that elements in the Youth League of the African National Congress used the police to remove rival delegates from a party conference in Makhado in April must be taken seriously. If the allegations are true this behavior may usher in a new era in South Africa’s post-1994 politics.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Is hosting the World Cup worth it? - 18th June 2010

South Africa is in the midst of hosting one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it is set to cost the country money that could have been spent on other projects. Will the long-term cost of hosting the Football World Cup be worth it, or should the country have rather spent the money on tackling the many social and economic ills facing the country?

Read More…

SAIRR Today: ANC sowing seeds for future revolt - 11th June 2010

The latest SAIRR Today is guest authored by Patrick Laurence. He assesses the ANC government's performance, and warns that continued corruption and slow economic growth will lay the foundations for future unrest.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa’s Move from Mandela to Zuma - 4th June 2010

Earlier this week the Institute’s head of special research, Dr Anthea Jeffery, launched her latest book, Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa’s Move from Mandela to Zuma, at a function in Johannesburg. Her speech follows below. All Institute members and subscribers will receive the book in the post. Non-members/subscribers can purchase copies from the Institute.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: The struggle for jobs - 28th May 2010

Much has been written about employment and job creation in the media over the last month. This week SAIRR Today reviews data from the 2008/09 South Africa Survey to give some perspective to that debate.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Good news in South African schooling - 21st May 2010

Recently the provincial education department in the Eastern Cape stated that it would be auditing former ‘Model C’ schools there because these schools had ‘too many luxuries’, and were refusing to comply with the provincial department’s policies. In a meeting at the provincial legislature in Bhisho in April, the portfolio chairman on education in the province, Mr Mzoleli Mrara, said that ‘Model C’ schools were ‘racist’ and used the country’s courts to win battles against the provincial education department. However, the 2009 matric results in former ‘Model C’ schools around South Africa indicates that their black pupils do very well.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: The end of COPE - 14th May 2010

SAIRR Today: The end of COPE - 14th May 2010

The manner in which COPE’s senior leadership is committing political suicide will return South Africa’s electoral politics to a two-way contest between the DA and the ANC.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: National service is no panacea - 7th May 2010

The Minster of Defence, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, has proposed a campaign of national service to deal with the problem posed by high numbers of badly educated and unemployed young people. However, an obvious flaw in her plan can be found in its numbers.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Slow progress in reaching equity goals - 16th April 2010

Data received from Commission for Employment Equity in 2009 paints a picture of inequality both in terms of gender and in terms of race.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Press Release: Statement by the South African Institute of Race Relations on the ramifications of the killing of Eugène Terre'Blanche - 6th April 2010

The Institute desisted from issuing a formal statement in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Mr Terre'Blanche in order to first gauge the broader social, political, and international reaction to the killing. The Institute is now in a position to make the following points:

Read More…

IRR TV

Research & Policy Briefs have evolved into the @Liberty reports. Click here to view them.

Much progress in the 'transformation' of higher education - 20th September 2010.

New data to be published by the South African Institute of Race Relations shows that the transformation of higher education in South Africa over the past 20 years has been far more successful than commonly acknowledged. The data challenges the conception that higher education institutions in the country have resisted ‘transformation’ and that action needs to be taken against university leaders to make them ‘transform’. Rather, the data suggests that it is the Government which now retards the creation of new opportunities for previously disadvantaged groups to get a university education.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: Fifty-year review of matric results - 10th September 2010

Much has been said about the quality of schooling in South Africa. One debate that has continued to make the headlines is whether the school system of today is any better than that under apartheid. A number of commentators have charged that the public education system of today is no better than that of Bantu education. Others have responded that such a comparison is ridiculous. Some have pointed out that this debate even taking place points to a deep malaise in our public school system.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: NDR: the cornerstone of any policy analysis of South Africa - 27th August 2010

The current public service strike has brought to the fore the bitter nature of the power struggle at play in the ruling ANC/SACP/COSATU alliance. Our current assessment is that factions in the alliance, perhaps led by the ANC Youth League, are preparing to execute a political coup at the ANC’s 2012 conference in Bloemfontein. At its most serious this political shift may include the axing of Jacob Zuma and his forced resignation as president of South Africa. At the very least infighting ahead of the 2012 conference will continue to destabilize the alliance. This will have the effect of destabilizing the broader policy environment in the country and therefore causing a rise in levels of uncertainty about the future of the country. It is our assessment that it is only possible to make sense of the policy environment in South Africa by understanding the ANC’s concept of a National Democratic Revolution (NDR). The NDR is poorly understood in South Africa but it serves as the philosophical and ideological grounding of the ANC. Its origins, its importance after 1994, its consequences, and the countervailing forces acting against it are reviewed in the abridged analysis below.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: The Totalitarian Risk - 17th August 2010

Recent weeks have seen much dismay around the behavior of South Africa’s government. For it has tabled legislation to restrict access to government information, publicly endorsed a proposed media tribunal answerable to the ANC-dominated Parliament, detained a journalist, and snatched mining rights from two companies. Taken on a case by case basis these developments have done much damage to the reputation of the country. Taken as a whole they suggest that South Africa is beginning to display some of the early attributes of a totalitarian regime.

Read More…

Research and Policy Brief: ANC hit-list also includes civil society and NGO sectors - 6th August 2010

Much is being made of the ANC’s efforts to thwart media freedom in South Africa. Few people have realised, however, that the party is similarly gunning for the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) sector in the country. When the ANC has finished dealing with the Media, it is quite likely that the civil society sector will be next on their agenda.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Income track record shows roadmap for the future - 30th July 2010

The Institute’s South Africa Survey for 2009/10 is in the final stages of editing and will be published over coming weeks. In the run-up to its publication, this column is going to review a number of highlights from the forthcoming Survey. This week we focus on a fifty year review of per capita disposable income levels for South Africa.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Denialism all over again - 19th July 2010

It is odd that just two weeks after the country was taken over by Ghana-mania, reports of xenophobic attacks against immigrants from other African countries are making the headlines. How could the feeling that ‘we are all Africans’ vanish so quickly? Perhaps in the dazzle of the international spotlight and being swept away by the celebratory mood it was natural for South Africans to show allegiance to their continent, but the underlying factors that explained the xenophobic attacks in 2008 - and since - have not changed.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Why some schools work - 16th July 2010

SAIRR Today: Why some schools work - 16th July 2010

The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angie Motshekga, has received much praise after announcing reforms to the Outcomes Based Education curriculum. However, the impact of the reforms will now be dependent mainly on the ability of the department to effectively manage and resource under-performing schools.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: How down-under came out on top - 9th July 2010

The Department of Minerals and Energy has missed a rare opportunity to reposition South Africa’s mining industry and attract new investment into that industry. It could learn much from how the Australian government recently responded to that country’s ‘mining tax crisis’.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: ‘New thinking’ needs to challenge policy and racial holy-cows - 1st July 2010

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that South Africa needs ‘new thinking’ on jobs and growth. This comes after StatsSA released data last week which showed that formal employment in South Africa declined by close on 3% over a period that saw the economy grow by 1.6%. As Business Day pointed out, this was not ‘jobless growth’ but ‘job shedding growth’. It remains to be seen what Mr Gordhan’s ‘new thinking’ may be, but it may be a good time to consider how South Africa measures up against some of the attributes of successful free market economies.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Does the ANC have a special relationship with the police? - 25th June 2010

The allegation that elements in the Youth League of the African National Congress used the police to remove rival delegates from a party conference in Makhado in April must be taken seriously. If the allegations are true this behavior may usher in a new era in South Africa’s post-1994 politics.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Is hosting the World Cup worth it? - 18th June 2010

South Africa is in the midst of hosting one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it is set to cost the country money that could have been spent on other projects. Will the long-term cost of hosting the Football World Cup be worth it, or should the country have rather spent the money on tackling the many social and economic ills facing the country?

Read More…

SAIRR Today: ANC sowing seeds for future revolt - 11th June 2010

The latest SAIRR Today is guest authored by Patrick Laurence. He assesses the ANC government's performance, and warns that continued corruption and slow economic growth will lay the foundations for future unrest.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa’s Move from Mandela to Zuma - 4th June 2010

Earlier this week the Institute’s head of special research, Dr Anthea Jeffery, launched her latest book, Chasing the Rainbow: South Africa’s Move from Mandela to Zuma, at a function in Johannesburg. Her speech follows below. All Institute members and subscribers will receive the book in the post. Non-members/subscribers can purchase copies from the Institute.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: The struggle for jobs - 28th May 2010

Much has been written about employment and job creation in the media over the last month. This week SAIRR Today reviews data from the 2008/09 South Africa Survey to give some perspective to that debate.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Good news in South African schooling - 21st May 2010

Recently the provincial education department in the Eastern Cape stated that it would be auditing former ‘Model C’ schools there because these schools had ‘too many luxuries’, and were refusing to comply with the provincial department’s policies. In a meeting at the provincial legislature in Bhisho in April, the portfolio chairman on education in the province, Mr Mzoleli Mrara, said that ‘Model C’ schools were ‘racist’ and used the country’s courts to win battles against the provincial education department. However, the 2009 matric results in former ‘Model C’ schools around South Africa indicates that their black pupils do very well.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: The end of COPE - 14th May 2010

SAIRR Today: The end of COPE - 14th May 2010

The manner in which COPE’s senior leadership is committing political suicide will return South Africa’s electoral politics to a two-way contest between the DA and the ANC.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: National service is no panacea - 7th May 2010

The Minster of Defence, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, has proposed a campaign of national service to deal with the problem posed by high numbers of badly educated and unemployed young people. However, an obvious flaw in her plan can be found in its numbers.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Slow progress in reaching equity goals - 16th April 2010

Data received from Commission for Employment Equity in 2009 paints a picture of inequality both in terms of gender and in terms of race.

Read More…

SAIRR Today: Press Release: Statement by the South African Institute of Race Relations on the ramifications of the killing of Eugène Terre'Blanche - 6th April 2010

The Institute desisted from issuing a formal statement in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Mr Terre'Blanche in order to first gauge the broader social, political, and international reaction to the killing. The Institute is now in a position to make the following points:

Read More…

Free Society Project