Quarterly Review 2010.12

Quarterly review

October – December 2010

35th Anniversary & New logo

On December 1 the Foundation celebrated 35 years of promoting economic freedom at a dinner at the Johannesburg Country Club. Brian Benfield (Chairman) and Leon Louw (Executive Director) spoke about the FMF’s loyal staff and proud history; Ningi Mhinga of Interbrand Sampson introduced our 90 guests to the FMF’s new logo; and Denis Beckett entertained us (and gave us pause for thought) with what he likes and dislikes about the Foundation.

Interbrand Sampson is globally recognised for its expertise in brand building, design and marketing management. Having heard Leon address the Institute of Directors a year or so ago, Interbrand offered to rebrand the FMF pro bono – an offer we leapt at and embraced. Working closely with the Foundation, Interbrand’s brand strategy team defined our new logo, look and strategy. Interbrand contends that for a brand to change behaviour, it needs to live in the hearts and minds of those who work for and with it – that’s how brands become genuine and positive experiences for the consumers who choose them. The new logo is fresh and modern and encapsulates Interbrand’s vision of the Foundation, captured by them in our Brand Story…

Our brand story

The FMF champions the cause on behalf of the public to bring about positive economic and societal change. Too often those affected by the policies made are excluded from the policy-making process and feel powerless to change their state of being. Due to the gulf between high-level speak and ground-level perception there is a glaring lack of knowledge and understanding amongst the people, which inevitably leads to discontent and feelings of subjugation. At the heart of the FMF is the firm belief that a country and its government need to embrace, internalise and practise the principles of a free market. The FMF is the bridge between the people and its government and, in being so, works for the betterment of the people, drives the ethos of an open society and encourages an inclusive decision-making process when it comes to policy-making. Working on a non-profit basis, the FMF, by employing its principles, extensive knowledge base and networks, is here to guide the people with courage, conviction and integrity towards positive change, to drive reform, and to ensure economic freedom and personal liberty for all. A society is made up of people first and then government. The FMF’s premise is to show the way and then lead from behind. It’s about equipping people with the knowledge and enabling them to make their voices be heard.

“Perryville” land reform progress report

FMF has partnered for this project with a major bank, one of the big auditing firms, and a highly regarded legal firm to assist the “Perryville” council to convert 33,000 black-occupied residential plots to full freehold title. This project presents substantial legal challenges. One of the main reasons why titling has been so rare in developing countries, is that it is extremely difficult to establish precisely what existing rights and obligations are. There are multiple forms of title, tenure and occupancy, many of which are amorphous matters of practice rather than formalistic law. And there are at least three alternative means by which titling can occur, all with complexities and potentially prohibitive costs.

Pilot study

After lengthy and careful consideration, it was decided that the ideal number of properties for the pilot study would be 200. A pro rata number of properties in each Perryville “township” were selected and all relevant information captured in a project-specific database. Field workers (wearing logo-embossed T-shirts designed to allay anxieties) visited each property and conducted interviews with residents.

If all goes well, the first registrations could occur early in 2011. Once the properties selected are registered, the Council and FMF partners will determine what challenges there will be and how to overcome them, whether any amendments to existing laws (including municipal bylaws) are necessary, what costs there will be and how to minimise them, how best to secure funding, and what is the best way forward.

Words of wisdom from Leon Louw this quarter…

12, 14 & 19 Oct – Leon addressed the Telkom Inaugural Small & Medium Business Forum in three different cities

15 & 20 Oct – Leon presented Ideas for a free society to two student groups: one at Pretoria University and the other at Wits

18 Oct – Leon addressed the Services Seta for the third time on Being competitive in the Service Sector

21 Oct – Leon spoke on The global economic crisis at a conference dealing primarily with fraud

27 Oct – Leon addressed the defence force executive national security programme on the World economy and global market trends

4 Nov – Leon addressed the Procurement, Asset & Financial Fraud African Summit 2010 in Zimbabwe on issues such as Combating corruption through corporate governance

22 Nov – Leon did a Political, economic, social & technological analysis (PEST) at the SAHRA conference in Cape Town

IPR Indaba 2010

The IPR Indaba 2010, held at the Southern Sun Grayston Sandton on Friday, 26 November, was attended by approximately 120 delegates, and covered various aspects of intellectual property rights.

Douglas Lippoldt, OECD, spoke about policies that make the most of IP protection; Leon Louw, FMF, described the potential pitfalls of competition policy; Don MacRobert, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, explained how timing was an important factor in making money from IP; and Mark Schultz, Southern Illinois University, discussed how to preserve cultural identity while growing wealthy from IP protection.

Eleven speakers participated in the panel discussions with vigorous audience interaction on diverse topics such as South Africa’s IP legislation, the role of IP in developing countries and in promoting entrepreneurship, and IP and medical care.

The Foundation’s fourth annual IPR Indaba was sponsored by Microsoft South Africa, Vunani Technology Ventures, and Southern Sun Grayston Sandton, and resulted in articles and interviews in/on the following: Brainstorm, Business Day, CNBC Africa, De Rebus, ETV, Financial Mail, IT Web, Medical Chronicle, News 24 x 2, Radio Namakwaland, Randburg Sun, SABC News Radio: Current Affairs x 2, SABC Radio: News Break, SABC TV and SAFM Radio.

For the full report, see http://www.freemarket foundation.com/DynamicData/Event_27.pdf.

Nationalisation booklet

The Free Market Foundation will be publishing a booklet called Nationalisation in early January for distribution mid-January.


1. Analysis of the ANC Youth League’s Nationalisation Proposals – Leon Louw

2. The Economics of Nationalisation – Richard Grant (ex Chief Economist, Chamber of Mines)

3. True Empowerment and Good Governance – Eustace Davie

4. Problems with State Ownership of Enterprises – Jasson Urbach

5. Benefits of Democracy – Vivian Abit Atud

6. Rewards of Economic Freedom – Eustace Davie & Jasson Urbach

The booklet has been sponsored by several donors (thank you all again) for distribution free of charge to those in a position to influence the debate on the nationalisation of “mines, banks and the commanding heights of the economy”. Already we have “orders” from government, the media, unions (Cosatu and NUM), students, academics, the Black Management Forum and other organisations, and a small contingent within the ANCYL.

Additional copies are available to members and friends at R50 per copy (including VAT and postage) – being a 50% discount on the full price. Please contact Gail on lyn.fmf@mweb.co.za with your order (please specify number of copies) and your postal address and we will invoice you accordingly.

If you would like to sponsor copies to, for example, economics students (UPE have said they would like 1,500 copies for distribution to their students – more than we can manage from our existing sponsorship), please let Gail know how many at the same discount cited above.

Happy Holly-daze

The directors and staff of the FMF wish all our members and friends a safe, happy and rejuvenating Festive Season and all you hope and work for in 2011.

Help FMF promote the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom become an individual member / donor HERE ... become a corporate member / donor HERE