OPINION

Helen Zille joins the Institute of Race Relations – IRR

Two of the loudest reformist voices in the country combine

Helen Zille joins the Institute of Race Relations – IRR

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) is pleased to announce that Helen Zille, the former Premier of the Western Cape and leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) between 2007 and 2015, has joined the IRR as a Senior Policy Fellow.

The joining of forces between Ms Zille and the IRR brings together two of the loudest reformist voices in the country.

Said Ms Zille: ‘We must defeat the racial nationalist and neo-Marxist ideas that threaten the future of every South African. The IRR provides a platform for all concerned South Africans to contribute to this battle of ideas by doing three things – namely: uniting the middle; protecting property rights; and promoting individual freedoms.’

She will be adding her considerable influence to IRR efforts to build support to stop expropriation without compensation (EWC); protect savings and pensions; halt efforts to destroy the South African healthcare sector through NHI; and adopt empowerment policies based on actual disadvantage rather than race.

Ms Zille has a long record in South African public life. She began her career in journalism, at the Rand Daily Mail, where she helped to uncover the circumstances of the death in detention of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko in 1977.

She entered formal party politics in 1999 when she was elected to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. She subsequently served as a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly, and as Mayor of Cape Town, before being elected Premier of the Western Cape in 2009. She became leader of the DA in 2007, serving until 2015, when she stepped down. She led the party to gaining its highest number of votes in a national election in 2014, in which it won 22.2% of the national vote and nearly 60% of the vote in the Western Cape.

She was educated at St Mary’s School in Waverley, Johannesburg, and at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Statement issued by the IRR, 27 July 2019