April – June 2016
The FMF’s projects for 2016/17 include: consumer rights, ECONOMIC FREEDOM / GROWTH, financial sector, GOOD LAW / RULE OF LAW, healthcare, JOBS CREATION / LABOUR, land reform, and TRANSFORMATION, as well as ad hoc issues.
Through the Luminary Award, FMF identifies unique individuals who inspire others. These individuals, whether local or international, are elected as FMF Luminaries to broadcast and memorialise their achievements.
The 9th FMF Luminary Award was presented to Dr Reuel J Khoza on Tuesday, June 21.
Distinguished thinker, businessman, President of the Institute of Directors, Africanist, public speaker, and change agent, Dr Khoza is both a practitioner and theorist in the field of African leadership.
Dr Khoza addressed the award attendees on The crucial role of moral authority and governance in corporate, political and economic leadership.
Dr Khoza was presented with the award “…for being a business leader with the courage to speak truth to power by taking a consistent and principled stand against poor policy, corruption and incompetence in government, and for championing the cause of good governance.”
You can watch Dr Khoza’s presentation here
You can read Dr Khoza’s speech here
Snippets of the first eight award winners’ presentations can be viewed here
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
21-Jun: Dr Reuel J Khosa: "Failure of moral leadership in SA today”. Receives FMF’s 9th Luminary Award
Previous Luminary Award winners
The first FMF Luminary Award recipient was Dr Yuri Maltsev “…for his tireless dedication to upholding liberty and the inspiration he brings to the people whose lives he touches”
The second FMF Luminary Award recipient was The Most Reverend Dr Thabo C Makgoba “…for his lifelong dedication to all the peoples of South Africa and for ceaselessly demonstrating the highest level of integrity”
The third FMF Luminary Award recipient was Dr Pauline Dixon “…for her dedication to researching and tirelessly promoting practical solutions to schooling challenges and education entrepreneurship in low-income communities”
The fourth FMF Luminary Award recipient was Dr Sam Motsuenyane “…for outstanding individual enterprise excellence and leadership, consistently demonstrated over many decades in overcoming adversity and inspiring the people of South Africa”
The fifth FMF Luminary Award recipient was Advocate George Bizos “…for his fearless defence of South Africa’s struggle heroes, his tenacious fight for freedom and justice and his dedication to upholding the constitution and the rule of law”.
The sixth FMF Luminary Award recipient was Dr Richard Maponya “…for his outstanding entrepreneurial achievement and leadership as a self-made businessman under the almost impossible conditions of apartheid and being a beacon of hope for aspiring young South African entrepreneurs”.
The seventh FMF Luminary Award recipient was Raymond Ackerman “…in recognition of his role as a great entrepreneur who followed his dream and changed retailing in South Africa for the lasting benefit of all consumers”.
The eighth FMF Luminary Award recipient was Johan Norberg “…for providing a better understanding of our world, especially the science of happiness and intelligence, and which conditions promote global liberty, prosperity and financial stability”.
The FMF works hard to increase its media coverage and reach as wide an audience as possible with its message about the benefits of economic freedom and growth.
In the last three months, the FMF’s WEBSITE ARTICLES, sent to our mailing list weekly, were republished on 14 occasions.
141 ARTICLES that quote or mention the FMF or originate from interviews or were written specifically for the media were published this quarter. These include Leon Louw’s weekly column in Business Day. The column is published each Wednesday, has been republished on 60 occasions, and since April has dealt with the following:
– Britain should not waste the Brexit crisis
– Staying in the alliance has cost the ANC dearly
– State’s transformation ideas are really blatantly anti-transformation
– Trade in animals ensures they thrive
– ‘Anti-tobacco fanaticism threatens every aspect of your life and liberty’
– Later Tax Freedom Day sounds a warning
– Bureaucrats drunk with power behind absurd idea to raise legal drinking age
– Superficial loss and substantial win on LRA
– Tripling horse race the closest Wakkerstroom gets to being ‘wakker’
– SA courts make popular judgments at the expense of law
– State capture not only criminal, but can be lawful and transparent
– Nothing wrong with values of capitalism
– Both sides in the nuclear debate ignore that Eskom has made SA poorer
Also included this quarter are these media articles by FMF Director Jasson Urbach:
– LETTER: SAA flights of fancy cost us R30bn – bdlive
– Allow market to dictate medicine prices – bdlive
– Taxing medical schemes a flawed approach – bdlive
– Plan to increase wages will hurt the poor – bdlive
– Swiss system gives voters a real say – bdlive
– Stopping zika, malaria ... will require new insecticide investment – The Daily Caller
– Increasing regulation in private health will not improve public health – HMD
– Collaborating with the private sector will assist in building a better public sector – HMD
…and these by FMF Director Eustace Davie:
– There is a low-cost way for individual South Africans to put right a great crime – bdlive
– Hard work and smart choices the real reasons for the ‘Mauritian miracle’ – bdlive
…and these by FMF Director Temba Nolutshungu:
– SA pushing ahead with the same prohibitionist agenda that failed in the US – bdlive
– Losing liberty like bankruptcy. Comes gradually then suddenly – Biznews
– Minimum wage may not be in the best interests of everyone – Sunday Independent
INTERVIEWS on radio and TV number 37 over three months, some of which are available as podcasts on our website.
The FMF has hosted 4 MEDIA BRIEFINGS this quarter and aims to host one per month whenever possible. The briefings provide journalists with an opportunity to ask in-depth questions about the topic under review. See projects below for more information.
Each briefing is followed by a media advisory to over 1,000 editors and journalists. Additional ad hoc advisories mean the FMF has distributed 10 MEDIA ADVISORIES this quarter. See projects below for more information.
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
FMF is conscious of the power of social media and we are working hard to reach more people via our website, facebook, twitter and youtube offerings
In May, our website had 26,427 visits including from 9,087 new visitors
The FMF’s website has three “windows” to our social media making it easier for our members and website visitors to access
Twitter @FMFSouthAfrica: 1,942 followers, growing by around 3 per day
Facebook: 3,175 likes
YouTube: 100 videos with 21,546 views
Far-reaching health controls with severe implications for consumers have been implemented or are under consideration. What is targeted? Products of greatest significance include tobacco, liquor, salt, sugar, traditional and faith healing, alternative medicines, baby food and junk food.
On May 17, Lawrence Mavundla, Nafcoc president, and Leon Louw, FMF executive director, presented Minimum legal drinking age – will raising it reduce or increase crime? at an FMF media briefing. The Department of Trade & Industry wants to increase the minimum legal drinking age to 21. This, they argue, will lower national crime statistics. Are they right? Is there a link between the minimum drinking age and crime? Global evidence suggests not. While Lawrence focussed on the impact of proposed National Liquor Policy on small business, Leon outlined recent research data which show no correlation between crime and age restriction on alcohol.
The media briefing presentations can be viewed here
Brief interviews with Lawrence and Leon can be viewed here and here
On May 31, Leon Louw presented If Plain Packaging is OK for tobacco, why not for the things YOU love? at the FMF’s inaugural Free to Choose Tuesday media briefing in defence of consumers and their rights.
This year, Free to Choose Tuesday fell on World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). WNTD’s focus this year was Plain Packaging which violates property rights (no branding allowed; prejudices emerging businesses) and the dignity and rights of consumers of a legal product. Leon explained why we MUST take a PRINCIPLED stand, even if we disapprove of smoking.
Leon’s presentation can be viewed here
Potential plain packaging?
Media advisories (available on FMF website)
18-May: Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA)
31-May: World No Tobacco Day
9-Jun: Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi: "We are now gunning for alcohol advertising"
ECONOMIC FREEDOM / GROWTH
On May 12, Dawie Roodt, Director and Chief Economist of the Efficient Group, addressed an FMF event on Price controls kill jobs and weaken the economy. Dawie warned of the dangers of interfering with the endless battle between supply and demand, a necessary and inevitable force that determines the market price of everything, whether it is labour, the latest model Mercedes, cupcakes, electricity, or rhino horn. Stable prices and equilibrium last only a moment in all markets. Government interventions have unintended consequences. Dawie spoke about the magic of prices and their fight for freedom.
The purpose of the FMF’s Finance Policy Unit is to promote the application of free market principles to financial markets. Current actions focus on proposed “twin peaks” regulation of which the Financial Sector Regulation Bill (FSRB) is the architecture.
Tax Freedom Day (TFD) 2016
FMF ran a mini campaign on TFD 2016, which fell on May 25, five days later than in 2015. The campaign resulted in the following coverage:
– We must demand our tax money’s worth – Garth Zietsman – bdlive
– SA has more SOEs and government investment than it should have – Garth Zietsman – bdlive
Also published as:
Why State-Owned Enterprises impact Tax Freedom Day on FMF website
Misfiring SOEs – Major reason SA Tax Freedom Day is coming later every year – BizNews
– Later Tax Freedom Day sounds a warning – Leon Louw – Business Day Column
– Tax Freedom Day: SA among most taxed countries – Radio 702 Eyewitness News
– It’s Time to celebrate Tax Freedom Day – even though it is arriving later than ever – Biznews
– Today is the first day your salary is your own‚ not the taxman’s – TimesLive
– The importance of Tax Freedom Day – CNBCafrica TV
– Tax Freedom Day – Radio Rosestad
– SA is among the most highly taxed countries in the world – Capetalk.co.za
– The importance of Tax Freedom Day – CNBCafrica TV – Closing Bell
– Tax Freedom Day – SAFM-Middaylive
– Why State-Owned Enterprises impact Tax Freedom Day – PowerFM
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
25-May: Work FIVE more days in 2016 than 2015 to pay for government spending
GOOD LAW / RULE OF LAW
On April 6, John Kane-Berman, consultant to the South African Institute of Race Relations, presented Liberal way out and up at an FMF event. John proposed a set of classically liberal, but for South Africa radical, ideas and policies to halt the country's downward slide.
John’s presentation can be viewed here
On April 23, Leon Louw, FMF executive director, addressed an FMF Youth event on Dangerous law: What the Zuma, Pistorius and Afriforum judgements have in common. Leon argued, controversially, that all three cases were celebrated because they were, for the majority of observers, against unpopular people. But the principles they established can now be used and abused against those who welcomed them and the millions of unsophisticated, defenceless people that, superficially, the judgements appeared to serve.
A brief interview with Leon can be viewed here
Rule of Law Project
The rule of law is a founding provision of South Africa’s constitution. The FMF’s Rule of Law Project has begun a process of identifying legislation, both pre- and post-1994 that undermines this essential provision.
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
24-May: Sweeping powers to take property without compensation: Investment Bill
“If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free” (PJ O’Rourke)
On April 20, Dr Chris Archer, CEO of the South African Private Practitioner’s Forum, and Dr Johann Serfontein from HealthMan, presented NHI – paying more and getting less at an FMF media briefing.
Given South Africa’s bleak economic growth forecast, chronic unemployment situation, narrow tax base, and ballooning budget deficit, the country faces a number of significant challenges in years to come and simply cannot afford a system of nationalised health care. Advanced, developed countries are struggling to meet the health-care demands of their citizens under a single-payer system. Ample evidence exists of how government involvement in health care increases costs, erodes quality and thwarts innovation.
The media briefing presentations can be viewed here
Brief interviews with Drs Archer and Serfontein can be viewed here and here
Media advisories (available on FMF website)
18-Apr: Economically damaging NHI proposals raise questions and provide no answers
8-Jun: NHI deadline: NHI is unaffordable and ill conceived
The FMF submission on the National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper can be read here
FMF solutions to healthcare for the indigent
The FMF’s alternative solutions to improved health care for all include:
– Privatising the provision of health care – via giveaways of public hospitals to those who work in them or sales to those who wish to buy them.
– Financing health care for the poor – preferably via state-sponsored vouchers, which the indigent can spend where they choose.
– Encouraging more private hospitals by deregulating the industry and eliminating Certificates of Need.
– Reducing prices and increasing health care quality through increased competition.
– Training more doctors and nurses (the number of doctors is limited to 1,300 a year; this number has remained the same since the 1970s despite increases in the population and the disease burden).
– Allowing the private sector to train doctors and nurses.
– Encouraging income-producing medical tourism.
– Retaining skilled South Africans and attracting others by removing the limit on skilled foreign doctors.
– Deregulating medical schemes so they can offer their clients exactly what they want.
– Deregulating pharmacies.
– Removing price controls, which send mixed messages to the industry.
– Speeding up registration of clinical trials.
– Giving those who pay for their own health care a tax deduction.
JOBS CREATION / LABOUR
The FMF’s Labour Law Challenge (LLC)
The Labour Relations Act allows for bargaining council agreements, reached usually between big unions and big business, to be extended to non-parties to those agreements. FMF believes this to be unconstitutional and launched a legal challenge on 4 March 2013 which was heard in the high court on 22 February 2016. Please note: The FMF was NOT challenging the constitutionality of bargaining council agreements entered into between labour unions and employer representatives. It was challenging agreements entered into between private parties (large unions and employers) being extended to non-participating employees and their employers. And it did so on behalf of the unemployed.
Leon Louw’s Business Day Column following judgement: Superficial loss and substantial win on LRA
For more South Africans than ever before, every day is a public holiday. A "Workers’ Day" like we had last week. Day after day. Year after year. Unemployment statistics published by Statistics SA (Stats SA) on Monday tell us that this is so for nearly 9-million South Africans. They all earn the same statutory minimum wage. Zero.
More people earn zero than any other wage; more are in the jobless sector than in any other sector. That is why the Free Market Foundation (FMF) launched its celebrated constitutional case against a single word in the Labour Relations Act (LRA). It asked the court to declare unconstitutional the provision that the minister of labour "must" do what private bargaining councils tell her to do.
Instead, the court ruled that victims have more protection than anyone realised or the foundation sought. It said that the parties must consider the broader implications of private deals and that there are three stages at which agreements and extensions can be derailed.
That is why it is a "celebrated" case. Both sides celebrated. The FMF celebrated having lost superficially and won substantively. Its 50 opponents celebrated having won a Pyrrhic victory that leaves the "victors" worse off.
So much nonsense has been spewed about the case that I fear I might wake to find I have been dreaming about people celebrating defeat in the name of victory. What seems real in dreams is crazy when we wake.
A lawyer opposing the FMF dismissed as "amusing fiction" an earlier column in which I was optimistic about the turn of events in the hearing. Yet when the judgment coincided with my assessment, he celebrated the outcome. My radio debate with Department of Labour representative Thembinkosi Mkalipi was so dreamlike, I wondered if it were part of an elaborate spoof. He seemed unable to get any facts right and celebrated a law that demeans him and his minister. He said private parties can force his minister to extend agreements to entire sectors only if unions and employers representing sectoral majorities agreed. In truth, his minister "must" extend at the behest of bargaining council majorities, as opposed to sectoral majorities.
He got the International Labour Organisation (ILO) position, SA’s ILO obligations and the implications of the judgment wrong.
Mkalipi said the FMF opposed bargaining councils, whereas the opposite is true. Ironically, although the FMF achieved more than expected, the judgment could undermine the laudable principles of "voluntarism" and "majoritarianism" endorsed by the court. The FMF wanted to leave contractual freedom intact, subject to the minister being allowed to think before she extends private contracts to victimised nonparties.
Although they never admit it, proponents of the prejudgment position celebrate the fact that policies they espouse give us the world’s highest enduring unemployment rate.
When Stats SA says unemployment increased from 24.5% to 26.7%, we have a statistic. The "expanded" number, 36.3%, is a bigger statistic. Youth unemployment of more than 50% is bigger still and 9-million unemployed people is too many to comprehend.
Proponents of failed labour policies are unmoved by numbers. If they ventured out of their air-conditioned offices in their luxury 4x4s to spend a day with a jobseeker, their callous hearts might mellow. They might sense the inhumaneness "decent wage" rhetoric conceals.
They might realise what it is like to spend every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in hopeless distress, indignity and squalor, walking the streets and facing rejection, leaching and begging, hungry and insecure. They might understand the temptations of radicalism and crime.
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
5-May: FMF delighted by historic High Court judgement in LRA constitutional challenge
LAND REFORM - Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform Project
This is one of those rare opportunities where one can get involved in a project with a huge element of heart and compassion; a project that brings hope in the future to your fellow South Africans – Christo Wiese
Khaya Lam is an FMF initiative that seeks to reverse the evils of apartheid. FMF Executive Director, Leon Louw, notes: “Black land deprivation was probably the single worst element of apartheid. Since apartheid ended, little has changed. In South Africa today there are still between 5 and 7 million black families living as tenants or without ownership rights in houses they have lived in for generations. There has been no systematic conversion of these “council owned” and “traditional community” properties to full unrestricted ownership. The prospects for economic upliftment throughout South Africa through the Khaya Lam national property titling project are exciting and immense”.
Under the project management of Perry Feldman, the FMF’s Khaya Lam project is gaining momentum. In addition to Ngwathe (FMF’s pilot project), FMF has signed or is about to sign Memorandums of Understanding with Cape Town, Grabouw, Graaff-Reinet and Stellenbosch.
Title deed presentation ceremonies
On June 20, a ceremony to present full freehold titles sponsored by Dr Christo Wiese for 100 residents in the Nomzamo, Strand municipal area, saw the fulfillment of a lifetime’s ambition of owning the homes which, for generations, they have occupied as tenants. This is the second title deed presentation sponsored by Dr Wiese. The first was in the project pilot area of Ngwathe, Free State, where he presented 100 title deeds to recipients at an event in Tumahole, Ngwathe, on 15 April 2015. He is now sponsoring a third batch of 100 title deeds.
Dr Wiese added his support to the project in its early days – hear him speak about the importance of the project here
On June 22, a presentation ceremony of 54 titles was hosted in Ngwathe, Parys – one recipient was 92 years old. The Mayor, Joey Mochela, praised the FMF for giving dignity to her people. She spoke to the recipients about the importance of keeping their titles under lock and key, about financial leverage and the making of a will. Many of the sponsors of this batch of transfers were individuals; others were self-funded. Because of this, the Mayor has pledged to personally sponsor a title at R1,950.
By the end of 2016, the Khaya Lam Land Reform Project expects to have presented more than 3,000 fully tradable freehold title deeds to households countrywide – adding an estimated R300-million to the assets of those households.
If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R1,950 (or a part title deed), please contact email@example.com or do so directly through our website here
Khaya Lam is full of feel good stories...
– Recently an Ngwathe ward councillor brought to our Khaya Lam liaison, Jeanette Mpondo, an application from Mrs Polo Sannah Tshabalala who was born (wait for it!) on 7 July 1915. Project manager, Perry Feldman, immediately resolved the issue of who would sponsor Mrs T’s transfer: His daughter and son-in-law – Batya and Gavin Cohen – are sponsoring the title as a gift to their eldest child Zoe, who turns 21 on the July 7 – the same day that Mrs Tshabalala turns 101. An age difference of 80 years!
– Take Maplatje Johanna Ramokhoase, of Erf 9315, Ngwathe, Free State, who received a title to her business property on April 12. INTERVIEW with Perry Feldman, Khaya Lam project manager:
Perry: Why did you apply for title?
Johanna: I have a daughter of 11. I was not married to the father and he left. I had to make sure that my daughter would have whatever is mine; that nobody could take it away.
P: How did you get the erf?
J: I applied to the municipality for an erf to run a business. At the time I had a coal business. It was not doing well because people were buying less coal. They were using more gas and electricity.
P: You have since built 12 units on the erf. When did you do this?
J: Over the last six years. There was confusion about the boundaries of the erf and I now find I have more ground. I want to build a laundry, bathroom and a tuck-shop. I also want to pave the area between the rooms.
P: Have you thought of going to a bank to get a loan to pay for the extensions you want to do?
J: Yes. But I haven’t gone because the banks will want a pay-slip and I am self-employed.
P: The house you are living in at the moment, is it yours? Do you have title?
J: It was my father’s and is now mine. I am the only child. I will be going to FMF next week to pay for the title to this house.
P: When did your father get this house?
J: In 1984. It is a municipal house.
P: Are you married now?
J: No. I have a boy-friend who lives with me. You can’t live alone. Tsotsi’s are a problem.
P: Have you made a will.
J: No. But I’m going to.
– Read this joyous story: Cape Town residents dance as they receive title deeds http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/cape-town-residents-dance-as-they-receive-title-deeds-20160620
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
20-Jun: 100 full title deeds presented to Nomzano residents by Dr Christo Wiese in CTC ceremony with Mayor Patricia de Lille
FMF’s video on land reform, Imagine living in constant fear of losing your home, can be viewed here
Some argue that freedom from apartheid has not made a substantial impact on black advancement. Others argue that for blacks to succeed they need government assistance through Reconstruction and Development Policies and Black Economic Empowerment legislation. Others are of the view that economic freedom and growth, the development of a strong legal framework, and good infrastructure and security, are all that is required for the realisation of human potential.
The FMF’s Transformation Index will find and analyse empirical data to show actual progress made by black South Africans in various sectors of the economy since 1994.
The Free Market Foundation Youth seeks to bring the message of true economic freedom and personal liberty to the South African youth in order to advance transformation and to address the injustices of the past.
Phumlani UMajozi, FMF Youth co-ordinator and board member, holds a BComm degree in Information Systems and Economics (with distinction) from Rhodes University, and Information Systems Honours from University of Cape Town. In June he addressed the third annual African Students for Liberty East African Regional Conference at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. His topic: Economic implications of central planning.
See Good law/Rule of law above for youth event hosted this quarter.
Watch this video on the FMF’s YouTube channel: Introduction to FMFYouth
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