IRR Friends Report Back

8 May 2020

What we’ve been up to 

  • Over the past several weeks we’ve been busy with  various projects working to shift the narrative away from  destructive ideas that will hamper South Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic towards those that will help the country emerge stronger Here  is a small selection:  
  • We held a press briefing with IRR head of policy research, Dr Anthea Jeffery, who laid out our policy paper on opening the economy whilst keeping schools closed. This was covered by, among others, Netwerk24, Independent  Media and the Daily Voice.  
  • IRR project manager Terence Corrigan wrote a letter in April which was published on B usinessLive attacking BEE requirements for Covid  relief, a critique that forced the Minister of Tourism to nam e us explicitly.  
  • On our news and opinion site, Daily Friend, we have continued to publish daily articles criticising the hard  lockdown and the continuing prevalence of race- based policy, some examples of which you can read herehere, and here.  

Some of our successes  

  • We have begun to turn the tide on two of the most important issues facing South Africa currently, BEE and the lockdown.  
  • The IRR came out earlier than almost any mainstream organisation in  proposing policies on how to open the economy safely in our “Trim down” approach and calling for the lockdown to end.  
  • We are now seeing the impact of these arguments as mainstream opinion has begun to swing decidedly against the lockdown. Recently, Rapport published  opinion surveys showing that the public has largely turned against the lockdown.  
  • Furthermore, more and more opinion writers and political figures have joined the IRR in criticizing the lockdown, and the chorus of voices opposing this  disastrous policy is growing.   
  • On the BEE front, our sustained criticism of this policy, especially at this time of crisis, is bearing fruit. Influential media figures such as Ferial Haffajee, who have been strong proponents of BEE, have attacked government’s use of race-based policy in  providing relief to businesses in crisis.  

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