Govt deserves credit for taking policy suggestion on board – IRR

Institute thanks govt for constructive interactions on developing sensible policy

Government deserves credit for taking IRR policy suggestion on food provision on board - IRR

10 April 2020

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) welcomes the national government’s decision to put in place measures to get food to the most vulnerable South Africans as the country prepares to embark on an extended Covid-19 lockdown.

The IRR proposed this in its comprehensive policy response to the Covid-19 crisis, Friends In Need – Covid-19: How South Africa can save #LivesAndLivelihoods, published on 25 March.

“We thank the government for constructive interactions on developing sensible policy, especially the Presidency and the Ministry of Health,” said Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research.

“The most effective way to make sure vulnerable South Africans get the help and food they need is honest and constructive collaboration between the private sector and the public sector – each specialising in what their records show they do best.”

The IRR urges the government to build further on this approach – particularly as the lockdown has now been extended by a further two weeks – by making use of its vast logistical resources, especially such resources as SANDF, to work with commercial retailers of all sizes in providing the necessary support to South Africans. The current circumstances demand this and such action would ensure the provision of much-needed products to people, while offering lifelines to retailers currently under enormous economic strain.

In this way, South Africans can truly answer President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to ‘act together’ to save #LivesAndLivelihoods.

Issued by Hermann Pretorius, IRR Deputy Head of Policy Research, 10 April 2020