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Research & Policy Brief (previously SAIRR Today)

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@Liberty - Delivering on ‘radical’ change, if not on growth or jobs

In August 2012 the Cabinet adopted the National Development Plan (NDP) as South Africa’s policy blueprint from now until 2030. The plan is supposed to boost the economic growth rate to 5.4% of GDP and help generate 11m jobs.

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@Liberty - “Pearls before swine, Johnnyboy’’

The first issue of @Liberty, published on 13th February 2014, carried the Institute’s twelve-point plan for a better South Africa. Reaction to a version put up on PoliticsWeb has been mixed. One person said the author of the plan, John Kane-Berman, was casting “pearls before swine, Johnnyboy”.

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@Liberty -A new Expropriation Bill by another name

Media coverage of the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill of 2013 (the Investment Bill) has focused on its role in replacing South Africa’s bilateral investment treaties with various European states. Representatives of these countries have broken their usual diplomatic silence to warn against the reduced protection it gives investors from their states. However, the true significance of the Bill goes very much beyond this.

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@Liberty - South Africa: A 12-point plan for prosperity

The National Development Plan (NDP) is the latest in a series of government plans to accelerate growth and increase employment. However, like its predecessors, the NDP fails to make the policy shifts essential to increased investment, growth, and jobs.

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@Liberty - Protest action in South Africa: Threat, or opportunity for reform?

Violent anti-government protest action in South Africa has increased dramatically in recent months. So much so that business, diplomatic, and government leaders are repeatedly asking the IRR what the demonstrations mean for the country’s future.

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Research and Policy Brief: Back from the Brink - 22nd November 2013.

Annual South African mirror briefing by John Kane-Berman, the Chief Executive of the South African Institute of Race Relations in Pretoria on 1st November, Johannesburg on 5th November, and Cape Town on 7th November 2013.

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Research and Policy Brief: Changing the Empowerment Goalposts: Major Shifts to Employment Equity and Black Economic Empowerment Rules - 12th November 2013.

Major changes to employment equity and black economic empowerment (BEE) rules are soon to take effect. Far from providing redress for apartheid’s wrongs, these will damage the poor majority by imposing penalties and overall compliance costs high enough to drive many small firms out of operation. This will reduce jobs, deter entrepreneurship and investment, and further hobble the economy. Apartheid’s victims would be far better served by putting economic growth before redistribution, as a different way of dividing up the existing economic pie will never be enough to meet the needs of a growing population.

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Research and Policy Brief: The Democratic Alliance and the Employment Equity Bill - 5th November 2013.

The Democratic Alliance has thrown its weight behind the Employment Equity Amendment Bill of 2012. This has five specific implications for the country, the Western Cape, and the party itself.

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Research and Policy Brief: Preparing for the battle of ideas - 17 October 2013.

Address by John Kane-Berman, chief executive of the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR), to a "Freedom Seminar" held in conjunction with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Johannesburg, 17 October 2013.

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Research and Policy Brief: Mamphela Ramphele - 22nd May 2013.

The launch of the ‘political party platform’ Agang in February 2012 has shifted Dr Mamphela Ramphele from being a commentator on South African politics to being an active participant in the months leading up to the national election in 2014. This article draws together some of Dr Ramphele’s views on issues affecting South Africa and Africa.

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Research and Policy Brief: Lessons from History for the Opposition – 21st May 2013

In a speech to the Education Colloquium of the Democratic Alliance caucus on 15 May 2013, Professor Hermann Giliomee, vice-president of the South African Institute of Race Relations, put forward some lessons to be learnt from history by opposition parties as they reposition themselves for the prospect of power around the corner.

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Policy submission: SAIRR submission on the Licensing of Business Bill - 22nd April 2013

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Licensing of Business Bill (the Bill) is intended to ‘promote the right to freedom of trade, occupation, and profession’. It is also supposed to ‘encourage a conducive environment that promotes compliance and sustainability of businesses’. [Section 2, Bill]

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SAIRR submission to the Department of Mineral Resources regarding the Draft Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill of 2012 - 13th March 2013.

South African Institute of Race Relations submission to the Department of Mineral Resources regarding the Draft Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill of 2012 (full text).

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Research and Policy Brief: Two scenarios for the future of South Africa - 14th January 2013.

At no point since 1994 has the Institute confronted more angst and pessimism about the future of the country than we saw in 2012. At briefing after briefing we are asked if South Africa is headed the way of the north-African uprisings or Zimbabwe. The same sentiment is reflected in newspaper columns and reports both here and abroad. Perhaps it is partly the Institute’s contrarian nature, but in many respects we are now more optimistic about the future than at any point in the last decade.

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Research and Policy Brief: Kgalema Motlanthe - 22nd November 2012.

Not much is known about the deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC) and the country, Kgalema Motlanthe. On most matters he is guarded and unclear and sometimes contradictory. This article looks at some of the policy stances he has taken in the past.

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Research and Policy Brief: Farm attacks in South Africa - a new analysis - 10th October 2012.

This Research and Policy Brief paper seeks to determine the extent to which farmers are uniquely vulnerable to armed attack in South Africa. It draws comparisons between the rate of attack on farmers and their families to that of other citizens in South Africa.

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Research and Policy Brief:  Would the Presidential penis have mattered if it was in a book? Presidential address to the SAIRR by Professor Jonathan Jansen, 27 September 2012.

Research and Policy Brief: Would the Presidential penis have mattered if it was in a book? Presidential address to the SAIRR by Professor Jonathan Jansen, 27 September 2012.

In his address to the South African Institute of Race Relations in his capacity as its president Professor Jonathan Jansen examines what the state of education tells us about the state of South Africa.

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Research and Policy Brief: A prescription for disaster - 7th September 2012.

In the aftermath of the Marikana shootings of 16th August 2012 the Institute has been confronted with a number of questions about the reasons and long-term implications of the violence. We have decided to republish an article jointly authored by the Institute's current Chief Executive Officer on the 25th of June 1976 as many of the points made in that article remain relevant to our current context. The article below appeared in the Financial Mail ten days after the police shootings and the explosions they caused in Soweto and elsewhere on 16th June 1976. It was written by John Kane-Berman and George Palmer, then respectively labour editor and editor of the Financial Mail. The Institute had meanwhile tried, to no avail, to warn the National Party government of the tension building up in Soweto as a result of the school language policy.

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Research and Policy Brief: Submission by the South African Institute of Race Relations on the draft white paper on families released by the Department of Social Development (DSD) in July 2012.

Overall the white paper makes an important first step in acknowledging the problem of family breakdown in South Africa, its causes and some of its effects. However, the white paper lacks concrete proposals that can be implemented by various government departments to address the problems identified. Moreover, it fails to acknowledge the role individual responsibility, norms, and attitudes can play in building more stable families, albeit with assistance and incentives from the Government.

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Research and Policy Brief: South Africa after the ANC - 2nd July 2012.

Few analysts are prepared to make bold forecasts about South Africa’s future political landscape. This paper breaks from that pattern and argues that the ANC is dying and will lose its parliamentary majority at or before the 2024 national election. We do not make this forecast recklessly but rather because the evidence points overwhelmingly in this direction.

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