Quarterly Review 2017.06


Progress through freedom

Quarterly Review
April 2017 – June 2017

The FMF’s projects for 2017/18 include: consumer rights, ECONOMIC FREEDOM / GROWTH, financial sector, HEALTHCARE, jobs creation / labour, LAND REFORM, rule of law, TRANSFORMATION, as well as ad hoc issues.


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, growth and the rule of law.

This quarter, the FMF’s WEBSITE ARTICLES, sent to our mailing list weekly, were republished on 12 occasions.

65 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 column in Business Day. The column is published every second Wednesday, and, since April 2017, has dealt with the following:

  • Racists do not trust black people with full land ownership 
  • Zuma: a terrorist to some, beyond reproach according to others 
  • Far-reaching failures now in urgent need of radical change 
  • Benefit deniers and credit takers cling to colonialism 

Also included this quarter are these media articles by FMF Director Jasson Urbach:

  • Intellectual property spurs innovation and technological progress 
  • Government’s NHI plan is based on squeezing out private healthcare 
  • SA is at a political crossroads 
  • Regulators are the reason big pharma can charge what it likes 
  • Letter: Hands off money supply

INTERVIEWS on radio and TV number 17 this quarter.

The FMF hosted 2 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 distributed 21 MEDIA ADVISORIES this quarter. See projects below for more information.

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 June 2017, for example, our website had 33,250 visits with 56,700 page views.  

In the right-hand column, the FMF’s website has three “windows” to our social media making it easier for our members and website visitors to access…
Twitter @FMFSouthAfrica: 2,797 followers
Facebook: 3,672 likes  
YouTube: 150 videos with 42,521 views

Watch these two golden oldies recently digitised and uploaded to our YouTube channel:
South Africa: The solution
A constitution worth fighting for

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.  

Media advisories (available on FMF website)
30-May: World No Tobacco Day: 31 May 2017 – FOCUS: Plain Packaging
07-Jun: FMF, COSATU and the ANCWL agree on (sugar) taxes – that’s radical


On 6 June, FMF in partnership with the Geneva Network hosted a roundtable discussion on South Africa's journey to a knowledge economy: progress and challenges, which was attended by industry and academic experts. 

Keynote speaker Professor Sadulla Karjiker, Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property Law, Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University, widened the discussion to include the state of copyright law and protection in SA saying, “Government’s dysfunctional custodianship of copyright law is a source of concern. The technical expertise does not appear to exist in the department [Trade of Industry] to draft these laws appropriately and what has been produced is absolutely against SA’s interests.” Other topics and speakers were: 
The roots of innovation:  Findings from the US Chamber International IP Index by Patrick Kilbride (Vice President of International Intellectual Property | Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) at the US Chamber of Commerce).
Economic and health impact of intellectual property rights in pharmaceutical research and development by Prof Kelly Chibale (Founder & Director | H3D; MRC/UCT Drug Discovery & Development Research Unit | UCT).
IP, innovation and impact by Jetane Charsley (Director: Regulatory and Compliance | National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO)).

Sadulla’s presentation can be viewed here.
Patrick’s presentation can be viewed here.
Kelly’s presentation can be viewed here.
Jetane’s presentation can be viewed here.

Evening event
On 28 June, Dawie Roodt, Chief Economist of Efficient Group, presented The virtual future – an economist’s perspective. Dawie argued that the virtual future is unfolding right before our eyes. Software like Bitcoin and Uber is reshaping our reality. Crypto is becoming virtual, money is private and the end of banks is nigh. Meanwhile, everybody is doing it, but nobody knows who's been doing it to whom. Best of all is that the new uber class, career politicians and professional ineptocrats, are likely to become the only major casualties.

Dawie’s presentation can be viewed here.

Media advisories (available on FMF website)
3-Apr: The ICT Policy White Paper – pity DTPS included bad policies at the expense of good intentions
13-Apr: Free Market Foundation joins with global think tank alliance to call on policymakers to support global trade

On 21 April, FMF Director Temba Nolutshungu, presented a talk at the University of Cape Town on the choice between free market and statist policies. Temba addressed the debate between the developmental state and the free market, and its implications for Africa and South Africa. He answered the question: Is the model that helped many East Asian countries achieve success relevant for Africa? 

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
What is Tax Freedom Day? Every earner is taxed.  Through one kind of tax or another, government takes a bit out of everyone’s earnings. This means everyone is forced to spend some months working for government. Tax Freedom Day is the day on which average South African income-earners at last start working for themselves, the day on which they have finally paid their tax bill in full. In 1994 Tax Freedom Day was April 12; by 2016 it was May 25 – six weeks later. Taxpayers needed to work six extra weeks to pay for government expenditure in 2016 than they did 23 years ago. Today government salaries alone consume more of our work than the entire state budget did in 1994. Why is Tax Freedom Day important? SA needs growth. Taking taxes from the productive private sector slows not grows the economy. The trend is for more of GDP taken in taxes every year. This is set to get worse.

Media advisory (available on FMF website)
25-May: Work FIVE more days in 2017 than 2015 to pay for government spending 

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act
Gary Moore, lawyer and senior FMF researcher, prepared the following series of articles on the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act:

  • FAIS: ‘Professionalising’ the financial-services industry at much cost, producing little and excluding most
  • FAIS: Rampant, costly rule-making with paltry net benefits
  • FAIS clearly unclear!
  • FAIS: The true costs of compliance
  • FAIS: Debarring representatives violates the Rule of Law

Video on Twin Peaks
Some years ago, the Financial Services Board (FSB) announced that it had “deregistered” over 15,900 financial service providers. The FSB did not specify race, but how much are you willing to bet that many of those deregistered were emerging black brokers and advisors? 

Now the proposed “Twin Peaks” (or Financial Sector Regulation Bill) will further undermine transformation in South Africa. In addition, it will create an enormous bureaucracy with reams of red tape It will cost an estimated R4,8 BILLION per year, every year, which is equivalent to 500,000 RDP houses or 5,000 new clinics per year, every year. Understanding what is proposed and that it has zero measurable benefits is crucial. 

The FMF’s Twin Peaks video can be viewed here.

FMF made three submissions to the Davis Tax Committee on their proposed wealth taxes. 
The submission on the proposed Wealth Tax can be read here.
The submission on the proposed Land tax and Value of property tax can be read here.
The submission on Macro issues and the Flat tax can be read here.

The FMF’s Health Policy Unit (HPU) contends and persistently provides evidence that in almost all sectors of the economy, free, open markets with competitive private enterprises serve consumer needs better and would make it possible for government to purchase higher quality healthcare at lower cost than if it attempts to provide the services itself. The HPU argues that patients are harmed when government dictates to healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and other firms in the healthcare industry how to manage their affairs, or at what prices they should sell their products and services. The HPU’s mission is to increase access to high quality healthcare for all South Africans. 

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.

South Africa has an unacceptably high and rising level of unemployment. One of the most important issues facing SA today is improving conditions for greater labour absorption. For government to achieve its stated objective of reducing unemployment and stimulating growth, it must urgently address labour market policies and laws that exacerbate unemployment. A significant part of our current work involves educating the public about the consequences of adopting a National Minimum Wage (NMW). There are currently an estimated 9.3 million unemployed – a NMW will just make it that much harder for these individuals to climb onto the first rung of the economic ladder. 

FMF believes that secure property rights represent one of the most important requirements for the protection of both economic freedom and civil liberties. FMF proposes that:

  1. All black occupied council-owned urban plots be converted to full ownership (“freehold”) – FMF is working with Ngwathe municipality (Parys, Free State) to convert 20,000 plots to full freehold.
  2. Superfluous government land be redistributed to the victims of apartheid as a substantial once-off compensation.
  3. Pre-emptive clauses be removed from existing and future RDP titles.
  4. In tribal areas, communities be allowed to grant private title over homesteads while maintaining communal rights over arable land.
  5. The Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, 1970 be repealed to make it easier for poor individuals to finance smaller, more affordable plots of land.

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 around 5 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 is now working in Grabouw, Stellenbosch, Graaff-Reinet, Barkley West, Robertson, Viljoenskroon, Thanda and Cape Town. 

Of the 4,699 transfers for which FMF has raised funding to date, 1,342 title deeds have been registered and lodged in the deeds office. As each property transferred from council to legal resident is worth on average R100,000, this latter figure represents a boost into the economy of over R134 million – now there’s bang for your buck. (See donation option below.)

Your property, your rights
FMF has produced an education booklet for new owners – available in Afrikaans, English, Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu. 

If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R2,100 (or a part title deed), please email gailday@fmfsa.org or do so directly through our website here.

The FMF submission on the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill can be read here.

Media advisory (available on FMF website)
2-May: New agricultural land reform bill seeks redistribution rather than restitution and is unconstitutional

The Rule of Law is a Founding Provision of South Africa’s Constitution but this potentially powerful brake on the executive branch of government has not been playing its proper deterring role. A likely reason for this is that most South Africans do not have an adequate understanding of the true meaning of the rule of law. This is not unique to South Africa, but in many countries it does not make as much difference to their laws as it does here, where any proposed legislation that is in conflict with the rule of law is ipso facto unconstitutional.

Evening event
On 25 April, Mark Oppenheimer, practicing advocate and member of the Johannesburg Bar, presented Is the state stoking racial tensions as a diversionary tactic? While the economy crumbles and millions of poor South Africans endure an incompetent and kleptocratic government, the news is filled with stories about racist tweets. By keeping citizens divided and suspicious of each other, government has avoided being held accountable for its genuine failings.

Mark’s presentation can be viewed here.

FMF has to date produced three videos on the Rule of Law.
Introduction to the Rule of Law can be watched here.
Rule of Law – What it is NOT can be watched here.
Rule of Law – What is IS can be watched here.

On 11 May 2017 FMF legal researcher Martin van Staden participated in a panel discussion at the University of Johannesburg, hosted by the Black Lawyers Association, on the topic of To whom does South Africa belong? Martin was invited particularly to do a presentation on the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, 2016, on which the FMF sent a submission to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in January 2017. He reiterated how the Bill will make discourse of any consequence, such as the panel event, potentially illegal if passed.

World Justice Project
FMF’s contribution to the Rule of Law Index, which is administered by the World Justice Project (WJP), was recently noted with a Certificate of Contribution. The FMF’s contribution was combined with those of 2,700 other experts and 110,000 members of the general public to create the latest report. The report presents data findings for 113 countries. More than 600 media outlets in over 110 countries have covered or cited the Index (amongst these are The Economist, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, The Guardian and TIME). The Index is crucial for stimulating discussions and actions on the rule of law worldwide, and it has been cited by governmental leaders as supporting evidence of the need to advance rule of law reforms in their countries. 

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. Still 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. 

FMF alternatives to ANC policy proposals at ANC National Policy Conference, June 30 – July 5
The African National Congress is holding its fifth National Policy Conference from 30 June to 5 July 2017. Delegates will discuss and decide upon ANC policy for the next five years. President Jacob Zuma has set the tone by calling for “radical economic transformation”, which is the underlying theme across all policy discussion documents.

FMF has come out in support of radical economic transformation. However, unlike government and the ANC, the FMF can define what radical transformation would look like: A substantive change from past and current economic policies to “radical” free markets, that is, less of the same and more of something new. 

FMF identified six of the ANC’s nine policy discussion documents on which to comment and offer proven alternatives to effect real economic transformation. The six areas are: communications; economic transformation; social transformation; education, health, science & technology; legislature and governance; peace and stability.

Media briefings
On 17 May, Leon Louw, FMF executive director, presented Radical economic transformation at an FMF media briefing. Leon argued that there is no room for informed debate about how radical economic prosperity can be achieved. The evidence is as conclusive as evidence gets in social science that radical economic reform towards slashing the size and functions of government produces prosperity and transformation. If current policies are maintained or intensified, they will result in continued stagnation. 

Leon’s presentation can be viewed here.

On 21 June, Dr Martyn Davies, Managing Director of Emerging Markets & Africa at Deloitte, answered Leon Louw’s questions on The secret of China’s success – innovation and entrepreneurship. Martyn dealt with the issue: What makes Chinese Special Economic Zones (SEZs) special and why, if South Africa is serious about Radical Economic Transformation, it should learn from China. China has the world’s most interesting and potentially most instructive economy. China’s freest province is nearly as free as the world’s freest economy, Hong Kong, and its least free province is less free than the world’s least free indexed country, Myanmar. In other words, China has a bigger range of economic systems internally than the world has internationally.

Martyn’s presentation can be viewed here.

Media advisories (available on FMF website)
FMF drafted 12 media releases (see below) outlining the FMF’s vision for radical economic transformation. Each included links to submissions and proposals to show South Africa and the media that real economic transformation is not only possible and viable, but desirable for all.

  • President Zuma is right! We need Radical Economic Transformation
  • ANC Conference must adopt real radical economic transformation – not more of the same paternal statism
  • ANC Conference must reject ICT White Paper and Hate Speech Bill for South Africa to drop Apartheidesque communications policy
  • Radical economic transformation means South Africans keep and control their own money
  • For radical economic transformation in energy, adopt the 1998 White Paper
  • Yes – introduce radical economic transformation in labour policy and help 9 million unemployed
  • “Amandla! Awethu!” means power to the people, not government – it’s time to decentralise!
  • 23 years post-apartheid, South Africa needs to be radical about land reform
  • Education needs radical transformation. Don’t leave our children in the apartheid era
  • Radical healthcare transformation: Bring healthcare back to the people and away from government
  • Radical legal transformation: Embrace Mandela’s rule of law not apartheid arbitrary governance
  • Radical criminal justice reform: Decriminalise victimless conduct and keep our judiciary independent

In addition, FMF drafted a series of critical Q&A for the media in the run up to the ANC policy conference which can be read here.

FMF is currently having a series of cartoons drawn, one to illustrate each media advisory above. The advisories will be updated and resent to the media during and after the policy conference (see two cartoon examples below).



FMF co-founder and executive director Leon Louw was honoured to participate in the 30-year Dakar Conference commemorations taking place in South Africa. He is proud to have played a role in an event widely credited as the catalyst that broke the ice between the National Party government and the ANC. Dakar contributed to decisive meetings between Nelson Mandela and PW Botha in 1989, followed by the negotiated settlement that ended apartheid. In 1987 Louw was part of the historic and groundbreaking Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa (IDASA) delegation to the Dakar Conference in Senegal. He presented one of the delegation’s four formal papers, his being on the Structure of Government in post-apartheid South Africa. The Dakar Conference had profound implications for South Africa today. Insights generated then should be remembered now. 

Media advisory (available on FMF website)
22-May: Lessons from 1987 Dakar Conference must be revisited to save South Africa

Africa Liberty Forum
Organised by US-based Atlas Network* and the Free Market Foundation, the AFRICA LIBERTY FORUM brought together friends of the freedom movement from across Africa to discuss challenges facing the region and to learn from one another how to most effectively advance free-market reforms. Held from May 24-25, the Forum focused on how to strengthen civil society and move public policy in the direction of greater freedom. Key themes included:  

  • Will liberty take root in Africa? 
  • Morality, property and prosperity VS confiscation and cronyism
  • Entrepreneurs and the future of Africa 
  • Educating the next generation 
  • Rule of Law essential for liberty 
  • Think tank projects that can yield real increases in economic freedom 
  • South Africa: From miracle democracy to growing despondency (1900-1930)
  • Mobilising new audiences for liberty 
  • Achieving outcomes by designing smart campaigns 
  • Transformation through growth 
  • Apartheid, Mandela and socialism: Time for change 

Africa Liberty Award
At a gala dinner, the Atlas Network announced the winner of the Africa Liberty Award … FMF for its Khaya Lam project. Regional Liberty Awards celebrate the most successful projects by Atlas Network partners.
Watch an interview with Brad Lips of Atlas Network here.

Media advisory (available on FMF website)
22-May: Johannesburg hosts Africa Liberty Forum – a first for South Africa

Sir Ketumile Masire
FMF was saddened to hear of the death in June of statesman Sir Ketumile Masire, president of Botswana from 1980 to 1998. Masire is widely credited with transforming Botswana’s economy and promoting democracy and inclusivity. Sir Ketumile Masire was the recipient of the FMF’s 2000 Free Market Award for his “exceptional contribution to the cause of economic freedom”. The Award was presented in April 2001 at an event attended by Nelson Mandela.

Media advisory (available on FMF website)
29-Jun: Sir Ketumile Masire, Nelson Mandela and the Free Market Foundation 

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