July 2017 – September 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 31 occasions – up from 12 last quarter.
126 ARTICLES that quote or mention the FMF or originate from interviews or were written specifically for the media were published this quarter – up from 65 last quarter. These include the last of Leon Louw’s columns in Business Day and his now lengthier, monthly articles in Business Day.
- Don’t be fooled – all regulation is really about seeking to control you
- Gigaba’s overcooked action plan will take SA further off course
- High cost of flying the flag and keeping a fossil in the skies
- Meme of insurers as pariahs is a ploy for greater regulation
- Regulators say it’s consumer protection – don’t believe it
Also included this quarter are these media articles and letters by FMF Director Jasson Urbach:
- Health Department’s demarcation regulations are potentially unconstitutional
- Health department’s demarcation regulations are potentially unconstitutional
- Lack of skills will hobble patent system
- LETTER: Hands off money supply
- LETTER: Health plan authoritarian
- LETTER: Medicine plot Kafkaesque
- LETTER: Party mimics Nat policies
- Motsoaledi ‘destroying’ private healthcare for NHI we can’t afford
- New patents policy the wrong cure for improving access to medicines
- New patents policy the wrong cure for improving access to medicines
- No need for government to provide 'free healthcare for all'
- Protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs)
- SA’s NHI – is it necessary or appropriate for government to provide “free healthcare for all”?
- Tax on anyone always hurts the poor the most (with Martin van Staden)
- The pharmaceutical prices debate continues
And this one by FMF Director Eustace Davie:
- SA slides down, former communist countries ascend, economic freedom ranking
And these by FMF Director Temba A Nolutshungu:
- A generous dose of private healthcare to cure what ails us (with Chris Hattingh)
- Affirmative action and socio-economic challenges – what are the solutions?
INTERVIEWS on radio and TV number 28 this quarter – up from 17 last quarter.
The FMF hosted 3 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 9 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 September 2017, for example, our website had 31,526 visits with 45,739 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: 2,998 followers
Facebook: 3,833 likes
YouTube: 163 videos with 53,776 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.
FMF published Competition Commission supposedly saves South Africans by Chris Hattingh.
ECONOMIC FREEDOM / GROWTH
On 23 August, Temba Nolutshungu presented Time for South Africans to live and let live. Temba argued that it is time for a policy about-turn that places the interests of the people above the narrow interests of government. Policies to bring about dramatic change: Abandon all race based legislation and regulations which are causing racial tensions, slowing economic growth, and increasing and not reducing poverty. Give the poor people of the country on a means tested basis ownership shares in all state-owned enterprises inherited from the apartheid government. Give unrestricted freehold title to the 5 million municipal rental properties built by the apartheid government. Adapt labour legislation to allow the unemployed to freely enter into voluntary contracts with employers – especially owners of micro-enterprises. Remove all red tape that imposes unnecessary costs on entrepreneurs, especially those in the labour intensive SME sector.
Temba’s presentation can be viewed here.
On 27 September, Garreth Bloor presented Want economic growth? Repeal bad law! Garreth, Founder and MD of Glenheim (Pty) Ltd, spoke about an increased focus on decentralisation and the role of cities driving economic development. Garreth unpacked the City of Cape Town’s removal of over 300 outdated pieces of legislation and looked at new approaches to spatial planning in a city-region that has managed to outperform economic growth averages in South Africa. Some of what was discussed included:
- The repeal of local government legislation premised on apartheid spatial planning
- The challenges of municipal regulations for entrepreneurs building small businesses
- The reform of outdated spatial planning policies can enable growth, particularly given the levels of informal economic opportunity that exist in our growing cities
- The importance of trust between investors and municipalities in achieving broad-based economic growth in local communities.
Garreth’s presentation can be viewed here.
On 28 September, Neil Emerick presented Will South Africa crash and burn? In 2000, South Africa ranked 42nd in the Economic Freedom of the World index. By 2016, we had plummeted to 105 out of 159 countries. By comparison, Bulgaria in 2000 ranked 108th and by 2016, it ranked 45th. Why does the economic freedom ranking matter? The higher a country ranks on the index, the better its economic situation and the better the lives of its people. Neil unveiled the latest rankings and how South Africa’s current economic social problems can be directly linked to our continued fall down the rankings.
Neil’s presentation can be viewed here.
Media advisories (available on FMF website)
1-Jul: DataMustFall: Fake news
3-Jul: Media Q&A: Radical Economic Transformation: Critical media questions for the ANC Policy Conference
8-Aug: Government interference will drive data prices up, not down
20-Sep: SAA is dead in the water – why bother with a bailout?
28-Sep: Good news: SA’s economic freedom slightly improved
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.
On Tuesday, July 12 Professor Robert Vivian and Leon Louw presented Twin Peaks – health warning. During the talk, the speakers addressed the looming Twin Peaks legislation, the impact thereof and where matters currently stand. Robert and Leon talked about the depressed state of the economy and the enormous pressure on it already – the unnecessary and costly Twin Peaks legislation will add to the massive burden on our economy.
Media advisories (available on FMF website)
12-Jul: FSR Bill & Twin Peaks is bad policy – should be sent back for reconsideration
22-Aug: Twin Peaks now law – a sad day for SA’s financial services consumers
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.
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.
On Wednesday, July 19 Dr Johann Serfontein and Jasson Urbach presented NHI pie in the sky. The latest iteration of the national health insurance (NHI) policy paper was published on 28 June 2017. It’s déjà vu all over again. We are no closer to understanding critical details, such as how much the scheme will cost and where the money to pay for it will come from. The deadline for public comment is still to be announced but, despite economic alarm bells ringing throughout the economy, government is going ahead with the scheme in an increasingly authoritarian attempt to limit our civil liberties and freedoms.
As the FMF has repeatedly said the consequences of adopting a single payer model of healthcare that is centrally administered are entirely predictable. Government should be concentrating scarce taxpayer resources on the poor and destitute, and allowing the private healthcare sector to grow, innovate and expand. Such a healthcare model would not only be good for South Africa’s financial health, but would lead to better health outcomes for the poor, which is surely what we all want.
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
19-Jul: Critical details still missing on NHI and too few tax payers to shoulder NHI funding burden
NHI Business Briefing
On 1 August, the FMF presented a business briefing on the National Health Insurance (NHI) to members from the business community. Like its predecessors, the NHI white paper does not explain how much the NHI will cost nor where the money to pay for it will come from. “Free healthcare for all” is a disastrous use of scarce taxpayer resources; government should be concentrating funds on the poor and destitute. Payment into the central NHI Fund will be compulsory – there is no opt out even if you do not use the NHI system to access medical care. The consequences of adopting the NHI are entirely predictable.
Speakers were Mariné Erasmus (Econex), Johann Serfontein (HealthMan), Neil Kirby (Werksmans Attorneys) and Julia Price (for the High Level Panel of Parliament, Julia co-authored with Paul Harris the Discussion Paper on Access to Healthcare in South Africa and the Proposed National Health Insurance Plan).
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.
- Allowing Low Cost Benefit Options.
JOBS CREATION / LABOUR
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:
- 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.
- Superfluous government land be redistributed to the victims of apartheid as a substantial once-off compensation.
- Pre-emptive clauses be removed from existing and future RDP titles.
- In tribal areas, communities be allowed to grant private title over homesteads while maintaining communal rights over arable land.
- 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 4,701 transfers for which FMF has raised funding to date, 1,800 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 R180 million – now there’s bang for your buck. (See donation option below.)
Title deed presentations this quarter
- On Tuesday, 25 July Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform Project, with sponsorship from Two-a-Day Group and The Elgin Foundation, presented 58 title deeds to residents of Theewaterskloof municipal area in Grabouw.
- On 19 September, 84 title deeds were handed over in the Mosepedi Hall in Tumahole, 54 sponsored by Gerry Ohrstrom and 30 by Rotary. The mayor was present at the ceremony and spoke as part of the handover.
If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R2,100 (or a part title deed), please email email@example.com or do so directly through our website here.
PLEASE NOTE: We have a sponsor who donates just R200 per month toward Khaya Lam. His monthly contribution has so far sponsored 6 title deeds, contributing a whopping R600,000 into the economy. Why not join him?
Media advisory (available on FMF website)
25-Jul: 58 Theewaterskloof municipality tenants find true economic transformation in a title deed and home ownership
RULE OF LAW
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.
- In July the Rule of Law Project made a submission to the Department of Trade and Industry, highlighting various Rule of Law concerns in the Copyright Amendment Bill.
- The Project also made a submission to the Department of Mineral Resources on proposed restrictions in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act during July.
- In August, the Project completed a first draft of its submission to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform on the Communal Land Tenure Bill.
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.
On 26 July, Russell Lamberti presented South Africa: Failing economy, life after the downgrade; a Venezimbabwe scorecard. Russell talked about the fact that South Africa is in the ever-tightening grip of a neo-Marxist state with key economic nodes and policy being run and directed by an anti-business, anti-free market, crony-authoritarian cabal of Leftists. They claim that the 'Developmental State' model of their Leninesque National Democratic Revolution will lead to rapid and shared economic growth and development. But after 10 years or more of this strategy, the results are in and it's a dismal failure. With stagnation, rating downgrades, and a tired tax base, the ANC is now aiming for greater control over the Reserve Bank. He went on to examine the risk of economic collapse in South Africa.
Russell’s presentation can be viewed here.
During the ‘In Good Company Conference 2017’, hosted by Nation Builder and themed 'What South Africa Can Teach the World', Temba A Nolutshungu participated in a panel discussion on the way forward in the South Africa of the future.
The full write-up of the discussion can be read here.
FMF Youth event
On 1 July, the FMF presented Direct Democracy is a government system that ensures accountability to you the voter! Jim Powell, the founder of Direct Democracy South Africa, explained the direct democracy system to attendees. Jim discussed that, with your vote, you are also the shareholder of your Local Council, Province and South Africa. How did we get it wrong? Politicians decide on the rules for the benefit of politicians. Unfortunately, the political will to change this is lacking. The way to change this for the next election was presented and explored.
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