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Review

We advocate an economic dispensation of free competition. South African economic policy should be based on a free-market economy where there is a balance between the various role-players in the economy. We strive for a South Africa where the role of institutions is foremost and trust among people is high.

Economic freedom enables people to deal freely with their resources without any fear of state or other intervention.

We strive to serve the country as a whole, but more specifically the Afrikaner and Afrikaans community. We adhere to Christian democratic values and work for cultural and minority rights as well as the self-reliance of communities within South Africa’s multicultural context.

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The Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) was established in 2010 and consists of a dynamic team who tackles and carry out tasks with commitment. This research institute and thinking centre is a key element to the trade union, Solidarity, as well as the bigger Movement who influences the bigger Movement in its strategic planning for a free, safe and prosperous future by their thorough research and truthful information. The SRI positions the Movement strategically on four focus areas namely, labour economy and relationships, socio-political research, political research and legal research. It enables them to ensure that the Movement keeps being an important and influential actor in the national discourse. The analysis of existing and new government policies and then commenting on them, also form a large part of their responsibility. The institution had a strong economic focus in the past but recently started to move to new areas. Even though the economic focus will always be preserved, the bigger mission in 2017 is to explain big ideas in small words. This means that they want to equip the Movement’s members where needed through training, lining and ideologically strengthening them with arguments formulated by the SRI. One of the big responsibilities of the SRI is to answer questions asked and then articulating these to members.  Braai-ammunition is a weekly conversation which serves as a channel to communicate answers that the SRI got through research to the broad public so that they can have informed conversations with people. The Labour Market Report is a more formal channel that the SRI uses to give information through to the members. This report is issued quarterly and consist of an innovative index developed in collaboration with ETM Analitycs. The index fives every member an idea of work and wage security in South Africa. Every quarter, a survey is made of the members about their work and wage certainty, and difficult issues are then discussed through articles that can then be read by members to strengthen them with information. Secondly the SRI plans to influence the national discourse to create room for the Movement’s ideas, in order to address opposing ideas. According to Connie Mulder, Head of the SRI it is our responsibility to protect the ideas we stand for. “We would like to be the campaigner/fighter/advocate in the battle of ideas,” Mulder explained. The thinking centre also builds on a prosperous future through their efficient research. The space of anti-Afrikaans, anti-Christ and anti-private institutions wherein we currently find ourselves complicates the establishing of training institutions like Akademia. Thorough research enables the SRI to get involved in debates and to oppose the policy. Research also makes it possible for the SRI to point out the detrimental effects of the policies that are being introduced, and it creates space in which training institutions can be built.
Solidarity regularly receives enquiries about our political view and party affiliation in the political sphere. The trade union will always affirm its political independence but still encourages its members to vote. We want our members to exercise the freedom to vote for the political party of their choice. Our policy within the Solidarity Movement is, in short, that we do not involve ourselves in party politics. Our members vote for different parties and we do not want those differences that can be divisive to enter our ranks. Party politics has an important place and role but it is not our role. We, however, believe that our members’ interests are best served if we do not support any specific political party. We engage with all but do not commit to anyone. It is for this reason that the Solidarity Movement introduced its action plan of hope. In terms of the action plan, South Africans should not fix their hopes on an external factor we have no control over. We must take control of our own hope ourselves. The notion of self-responsibility arises from the Solidarity Movement’s Christian tradition. You receive a calling and you are responsible to carry it out yourself. You should not claim that you cannot carry out your calling or that you have lost hope because of a Zuma, a huge ANC majority, a small opposition or a demographic reality. No, you have a responsibility to carry out your calling. In the post-election period the role of civilian organisations in taking up rights will be increasing all the time. Just as people queued to participate in party politics so too should they be queuing to participate in civilian politics. Civilian politics is practical politics. Party politics has an important yet limited role to play. Party politics creates a democratic environment, mainly through legislation but civilian organisations are the ones that keep the Constitution alive. In the South African situation, characterised by a deteriorating state, civil society organisations will even play a bigger role. Good examples in this regard are private security functions, private medical care and private schools that have already become a reality. Civilian politics differs in nature from party politics. In the case of party politics you only have to draw a cross on a ballot paper in a secret vote every five years. In the case of civilian politics you have to be involved all the time. In other words, you become practically involved in creating hope. That is why we say: Civilian politics needs hands that work for hope, and your hands are the very hands that are needed. The reason for our practical – rather than political – strategy is that our members weigh more than they count. Counted with their families, our movement already represents far more than a million people – most of them well-trained and productive individuals. Those are the people who work for a life and who are not under the impression that they merely have to ‘vote for a life’. We achieve much more outside parliament because our practical plans are not dependent on political power or approval. As a modern ‘Helpmekaar’ movement (where Helpmekaar means to help one another) we know that being without political power does not make us powerless. That is why the purpose of our Helpmekaar 2020 plan is to create a future in which our people can also be permanently free, safe and prosperous. In this way, we can make a sustainable contribution towards the well-being of the country and all its people.    
The Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) strives to reveal the truth and cold hard facts surrounding Solidarity's campaigns in black and white with comprehensive reports. The #StopRacism-campaign kicked off early this year and the report on racism which was introduced on 4 April 2017 is an example of how the Institute’s reports support the campaigns. The racism report addressed the selective manner with which racism is being dealt with in South Africa. According to Connie Mulder, Head of the SRI, this report focuses specifically on individuals who have recently been guilty of racist remarks and statements, and furthermore, the resulting hue and cry that these remarks have unleashed in social and traditional media. “The report is in fact a comparative study done to view various high profile cases as case studies, and to see how these cases were dealt with by the media and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC),” explained Mulder. There was an urgent need for the #StopRacism campaign to have the facts in black and white, to indicate where racism was selectively dealt with in the media. The goal was to show with cold hard facts that when a white person said something racist, a proverbial bomb exploded in the media, but in contrast, when a black person such as Julius Malema took the stage in his capacity as the leader of a political party, and made racist remarks and even instigated violence and murder, it was considered to be merely another one of his usual remarks. “Our research indicated that  remarks from someone such as Justin van Vuuren resulted in much more media coverage than those ‘Slaughter all whites’ remarks made by Julius Malema,” Mulder said. According to Dr Eugene Brink, a former senior researcher at the SNI who helped to compile the report, it took him nearly three weeks’ of day and night research to complete the report. “We wanted to see how widely spread and how intensive black on white racism is as well as the double standards currently applied in South Africa regarding racism. Unequal criteria regarding racism is applied in South Africa; it just hasn’t been proven yet. We wanted to show the public, the media, opinion formers in the media, as well as the government in a qualitative and quantitative manner that it does exits. We weighed our options as to how to approach this matter and decided to compile a comprehensive report on the issue,” explained Brink. The report’s success lies in the fact that no one has come forward to argue the facts or to place other facts on the table. The report was handed in at the Parliament, the SAHRC, as well as the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Several heavyweights in South African politics formed part of the complaint because of the hate speech and xenophobia shown by them. They include President Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema, Minister Lulu Xingwana and the North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. The mass complaint which is part of the report is supported by approximately 405 000 South Africans.

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What Are We Building?

Training

Review Successful cultural communities require healthy, stable and flourishing education and vocational training. As early as the middle 1800s, Afrikaners started establishing vocational colleges and universities at several places. Over time, however, these vocational colleges and universities lost their community character and increasingly developed a state character. At present, these  ... Read more

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Rule of law

Review Solidarity’s aim is to bring about a South Africa where all will be free and equal before the law and will be treated with dignity and fairness. Since 1902 Solidarity has been fighting actively in courts for its members so as to bring about justice in the workplace and  ... Read more

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Growing independence

Review We do not want to focus merely on offering our members economic solutions. We try to create democratic spaces for our members and their communities where they can live in a self-reliant way. The response to state decay is the politics of self. For this reason it is imperative  ... Read more

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Good job opportunities

Review According to the American opinion poll company Gallup, a good job is the most important need of people across the world. Apart from the economic stability resulting from a job, your job also to a large extent determines who you are and where you fit in. Here at Solidarity  ... Read more

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Study assistance

Review We view ourselves as builders who, together with enthusiastic members, have been building a future for the past 115 years. In spite of all the uncertainty in our country, we will never stop building training institutions. We will continue creating study opportunities for members of the community. We are  ... Read more

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Media

Review At present very little if any space is being created for Afrikaans media. Even within the commercial Afrikaans media there are some media institutions who are unsympathetic towards the critical situation of Afrikaans, or who are not prepared to give up their monopoly on the Afrikaans media in order  ... Read more

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Free economic and political positioning

Review We advocate an economic dispensation of free competition. South African economic policy should be based on a free-market economy where there is a balance between the various role-players in the economy. We strive for a South Africa where the role of institutions is foremost and trust among people is  ... Read more

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Greater Solidarity Movement

Review The origins of the Solidarity Movement can be traced back to June 1902, when the Transvaal Miners’ Association was founded. The establishment of the Movement cannot be ascribed to individual actions alone, but also to the functioning of institutions. The Solidarity Movement comprises 18 institutions, including Solidarity, AfriForum and  ... Read more

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Afrikaans

Review Historically, we have had a close relationship with the Afrikaner community and this is still the case. Afrikaans is one of South Africa’s important official languages – it is the language that is close to the heart of millions of South Africans. The reality is, however, that Afrikaans as  ... Read more

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