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What we stand for

Every South African has the right to enjoy the benefits of their hard work, and the government must never again have the power to take that right away. The historical denial of property rights to black people is something the IRR fought bravely against for many decades, but is something that cannot be reversed by undermining property rights today.

Without property rights, South Africa will never attract the investment it needs to grow the economy and create jobs, and this will worsen the circumstances and prospects of disadvantaged people. Property rights also anchor human liberty in every free and open society because a government cannot oppress people whose property rights are secure.

We therefore advocate strongly against every law and policy that threatens your property rights, and specifically lobby for policies that will use strengthened property rights to help the poor escape from poverty so they can also accumulate wealth and assets. 

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Property rights for all
An integral part of any free society is the rule of law – the principle that no-one, no person, politician, race, party, or any entity is above the law and that understandable, established, and clear legal rules protect all against the arbitrary exercise of power.

A fundamental injustice of apartheid was its violation of the rule of law. In answer to this, the codification of the rule of law into the South African Constitution was a great step forward for our country and a victory for classical liberalism and liberty. However, in the years since that victory, the rule of law has come under increasing strain. The independence of the judiciary has been undermined, while the meaning of core concepts in the Bill of Rights is gradually being ‘transformed’ through the rulings of activist judges.  Decisions on prosecution have become increasingly politicised. The statutes enacted by Parliament are sometimes vague and uncertain, which allows officials to apply their provisions in different ways to different people. Increasingly, legislation now empowers ministers to make important new rules by way of regulation and with little further parliamentary scrutiny.

This erosion of the rule of law poses a great threat to liberty in South Africa. The IRR is thus committed to exposing poor judgments which detract from constitutional guarantees, demanding clear and certain legislation, and blowing the whistle on prosecutorial bias. It is also determined to uphold the principle of equality before the law and to help secure the right to be governed by constitutionally-compliant rules that are clear, unambiguous, and evenly applied to all.

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The rule of law
We stand for real economic empowerment – not the failed and counterproductive policies of the government. To really empower poor people South Africa needs to focus on the root causes of poverty which can be found in bad schools, weak family structures, a sluggish job market, low levels of entrepreneurship, and an economy that is growing far too slowly.

The government's empowerment policies address none of these things and focus instead on racial engineering that undermines investment, raises prices, reduces competitiveness, and forces entrepreneurs to comply with costly administrative hurdles while offering little to the poor and the truly disadvantaged. The victims are black and white people who cannot get ahead because empowerment policy does not focus on the things that are holding them back. Enforcing the current policies more aggressively will change none of this. If you agree that it is good and right to have policies that help poor people but that the time has come to change South Africa's approach to empowerment policy completely then you are not alone. There are millions of people who believe that it is time to move away from race to actual socio-economic disadvantage. 

We advocate for exactly this and against every law and policy that makes it difficult to invest in South Africa, start a business, or find a job, especially where that policy discriminates against you on the basis of your race. Instead, we promote a bold new approach to empowerment policy that identifies its beneficiaries based on their actual socio-economic disadvantage, and helps them to escape from poverty through education, entrepreneurship and employment.  If you agree with this then join us, make sure your voice is heard, and together we can get South Africa's politicians to change how South Africa does empowerment. 

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Real economic empowerment
Today the government takes through taxation more of the money created by hard-working South Africans than at any time in the history of the country.

Much of that money is wasted or misspent through corruption. Some politicians and activists then have the gall to blame those same hard-working South Africans for not doing enough to create a better society.

This is nonsense.

The tax paid by all South Africans and the jobs created by entrepreneurs have done an enormous amount to improve living standards, and this contribution must be recognised and celebrated. South Africa’s real problem is not that ordinary people do not do enough, but rather that the government wastes so much of the tax they pay.

We fight to make sure that more money stays in the hands of ordinary people who made or earned it so that it can be better spent to help create a prosperous society, while exposing and stopping the wastage of government resources.   

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Tax justice
There should be no limits on what you are allowed to say or think except where such ideas threaten physical harm against another person.

It is dangerous that South Africa has imported from Europe and America a culture that seeks to protect people from things they don’t like to hear through creating ‘safe spaces’ and savaging any person who holds an opinion that is not seen as politically correct.

Political correctness is strangling our society and risks a tyranny of the minority where a small group of politicians, activists and journalists get to decide what you are allowed to say or think.

We advocate against all threats to freedom of speech and all attempts to force ‘group-think’ in business, academia, the media, civil society, and politics.

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Free thought and speech
We think that politicians should be directly answerable to you. In South Africa you do not vote for an MP who you can call to account when the government acts against your interests. Rather you vote only for a party, which then appoints a certain number of MPs, depending on their share of the vote.

This means MPs are answerable to party leaders and not to you and this is the main reason why many political parties support policies and take decisions that directly threaten your future and that of your family.

To put the power back in your hands, we advocate for Parliament to be divided into an upper and a lower house where the MPs in the lower house will be elected directly out of community constituencies and be answerable only to the people who elected them.

We also advocate giving far greater federal powers to provincial and local governments so that they can adopt laws and policies that reflect the best interests of people who live in those communities.

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Accountable politics
Every family has the right to make its own choices about how it wants to live. It is not for the government to tell you how to educate your children, or to force you to use a dangerous public hospital or rely on an incompetent police force.

Many government-run healthcare facilities are terrible not because they have too little money but because of incompetent managers and hostile trade unions.

Many schools are so bad that they deny children any chance at a better future. Our research shows that where parents and communities take back control of schools from the government the results achieved by their children are better.

Our research also shows that police officers are often perpetrators of serious and violent crime and that higher levels of community control of policing makes for safer neighbourhoods.

For this reason, we advocate for policies that allow communities to wrestle back control of their schools, hospitals, and police stations from politicians.

We lobby for the government to introduce healthcare and education vouchers that will allow for communities to decide how taxpayer funds should be spent, for stronger school governing bodies, and for community police forums that will have the power to appoint police station commanders.

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Choice-driven healthcare, policing, and education policy
Contrary to what you read in the mainstream media and see on social media our polls prove that most South Africans respect one another and are committed to working together across lines of race and class to make the country a better place for all its people.

Our research shows that racism is not South Africa’s biggest problem and that the great majority of black and white South Africans respect one another and want their fellow countrymen to lead successful and prosperous lives. But some politicians, activists and journalists take pleasure in fomenting conflict and trying to turn communities against each other. This minority sees every slight and injustice as a being the result of racism and racial oppression. They judge you not according to your individual circumstances, beliefs, or commitment to the success of our country but only according to your race and use that judgement to encourage the state to interfere in the choices you make about how you want to live.

We think this is wrong and that the silent majority of South Africans who want to work together to build a better country must be given a voice. We therefore counter the hate-mongering in the media and social media by emphasizing the common ground that unites South Africans.

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Reconciliation and social justice
South Africa needs a small decentralised government that creates the circumstances for ordinary communities to take charge of their own lives.

What we have is a giant lumbering state that absorbs valuable resources while often getting in the way of social and economic advancement. We advocate for the state to be smaller, for the private sector and entrepreneurs to direct the economy, for ordinary people to own assets, and for communities to determine how they are governed. South Africa can best reach its great potential by limiting the power of politicians and bureaucrats and placing more of it in the hands of ordinary people.

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A small and effective government


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