Polling data shows support for a new pro-growth coalition – IRR

South Africans are desperate for the opportunity to work hard and build a better life

Polling data shows support for a new pro-growth coalition – IRR

12 March 2024

Recent polling by the Brenthurst Foundation underlines the highly competitive nature of the upcoming national and provincial elections. While much has been made of the support levels of the various political parties, the data support years of IRR polling and research showing the need − and popular support − for a new pro-growth coalition.

In the Brenthurst Foundation data, on the question of the best way “for the government to put more money in people’s pockets”, pro-growth attitudes dominate with 39% of respondents saying it should be made easier to start small businesses in South Africa, 25% saying taxes should be reduced, and 12% supporting cutting the cost of the civil service. These positions are integral parts of the IRR’s strategy to build a pro-growth coalition across South African society. The IRR published two ‘Blueprint for Growth’ papers in February this year, Arming SA’s Pro-Growth Forces and Slash Waste, Cut Taxes, that set out how these widely endorsed pro-growth objectives should be achieved.

Says Hermann Pretorius, IRR head of strategic communications: “South Africans are desperate for the opportunity to work hard and build a better life. Policies like BEE have come to embody ‘blatant elite enrichment’. The sustained assault on property rights has made attracting job-creating investment impossible. Race-rigged public procurement and crony-compromised tenders and contracts have undermined the basic functionality of services and infrastructure. Cadre deployment has turbocharged corruption, looting, and state capture.

“Fundamental change is needed. Like the pro-liberty societal coalition that defeated apartheid, South Africa now needs a pro-growth coalition. As the IRR played our role in providing the evidence, data, and arguments to bring an end to the anti-liberty, pro-poverty forces of apartheid, we are again proudly doing the same for our country’s pro-growth forces to build a new pro-growth coalition.

“This new coalition, however, is not a political coalition, but something much more powerful and lasting: a coalition of citizens, workers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, corporate citizens, faith entities, NGOs, academics, and artists. Only a change at this level and only a united coalition of this nature can defeat the pro-poverty forces that have held our country hostage.

“Consumers must use the power of their spending to shun race-based policies like BEE. Businesses must realise their primary allegiance cannot be to an abusive, exploitative state, but to shareholders, workers, and clients who deserve better than the crumbs and leftovers of race-rigged cadre-capitalism. Workers must hold to account union bosses who live in a 1950s fantasy world of cold wars and class envy. Religious communities and leaders must endorse the true meaning of honest work and fairness, and condemn the exploitation of everyone from taxpayers to job seekers.”

Pretorius concludes: “On 29 May, South Africans should vote for pro-growth parties, policies, and candidates. But on every other day, South Africans must use the countless opportunities to achieve victories for a new pro-growth coalition.”

The IRR’s Blueprint for Growth papers, Arming SA’s Pro-Growth Forces and Slash Waste, Cut Taxes, can be read here and here.

Issued by Hermann Pretorius, IRR Head of Strategic Communication, 12 March 2024