Helen Zille Joins Institute of Race Relations

JOHANNESBURG  – Helen Zille (68) is to join think tank The Institute of Race Relations (IRR), the former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader announced on Sunday.

Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The ex-Premier of the Western Cape – who stepped down in June, after two terms – tweeted today: “I am very pleased to be part of the IRR South Africa team where I will be able to read, analyse, speak and build the moderate, non-racial centre of South African politics around core constitutional values. #JoinTheIRR.”

She will join the IRR as a Senior Policy Fellow and Analyst.

The IRR said on Twitter: “Helen Zille has joined forces with the IRR. Now she can continue to fight for you.” 


In a statement, the IRR said Zill 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 (national health insurance).”

Zille led the DA between 2007 and 2015, but she has recently fallen out with the party’s leadership, mainly over differing stances on affirmative action and other economic policies, said Reuters. Zille has clashed on social media with her successor and current DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

The IRR says it stands for classic liberalism, and – according to Reuters – is seen by some analysts as a powerful lobby group pushing for the opposition party (the DA) to move closer to its roots of private property ownership, individual rights and market friendly economic policy.

(Reporting by Jenni Baxter/SAPeople and Mfuneko Toyana/Reuters; Editing by Susan Fenton/Reuters and Jenni Baxter/SApeople)