January 2018 – March 2018
The FMF’s projects for 2018 include: consumer rights, economic freedom / growth, financial sector, healthcare, jobs creation / labour, land reform / property rights (with a particular focus on #EWC – Expropriation Without Compensation), rule of law, transformation, as well as ad hoc issues as they arise.
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.
166 ARTICLES that quote or mention the FMF or originate from interviews or were written specifically for the media or the FMF’s website were published this quarter – up from 152 last quarter. See projects below for more information.
INTERVIEWS on radio and TV number 32 this quarter – up from 15 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 15 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 February 2018, for example, our website http://www.freemarketfoundation.com/ had 31,464 visits with 160,930 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: 3,309 followers
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FMFSA/: 4,080 likes
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/ChannelFMF/videos: 172 videos; 676 subscribers; 69,294 views
Watch these two golden oldies recently digitised and uploaded to our YouTube channel:
South Africa: The solution
A constitution worth fighting for
Previous cartoons published by FMF can be viewed here.
PROJECTS (note: all articles, media advisories and submissions are available on the FMF website)
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. Draconian alcohol laws, for example, raising the Minimum Legal Drinking Age from 18 to 21, have been presented to cabinet this quarter; similarly consumer-unfriendly tobacco laws are next.
- LETTER: Tipple ban topples rights by Chris Hattingh
- LETTER: Ban nanny state instead by Martin van Staden
- Raising the drinking age is condescending and tyrannical; doesn’t work either by Martin van Staden
- Angels and demons and the draconian liquor amendment bill by Temba Nolutshungu
- Plain packaging: Five years of failure! An open letter to WHO Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus
ECONOMIC FREEDOM / GROWTH
The FMF is a co-publisher of the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index with Canadian based think tank Fraser Institute. The index, published annually, measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The foundations of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete and security of privately owned property. The findings in the report unambiguously support the fact that economic freedom is strongly related to prosperity and growth; countries that are economically free tend to grow faster and be more prosperous.
- Capitalism raised the alarm about Steinhoff and did so instantaneously by Leon Louw
- Delta could fly two people to South Africa for the same cost as flying one on SAA by James Peron
- Economic growth requires an environment in which prices are freely formed by Eustace Davie
- Oxfam cares more about ideology than poverty by Martin van Staden
- Only freedom can stimulate competition by Martin van Staden
- Economic growth requires an environment in which prices are freely formed by Eustace Davie
- Water for all and water for none by Richard J Grant
- SAA lessons we can learn from Kenya by Chris Hattingh
- Rwanda’s stuttering wholesale 4G telecoms network by Gary Moore
- Russia abandons autocratic telecom proposal by Gary Moore
- Mexico’s elaborate open-access telecoms scheme struggles to take off by Gary Moore
- How Kenya’s bold open-access telecom plan came unstuck by Gary Moore
- LETTER: Curbing SAA's flight risk by Terry Markman
- The virtue of self-interest by Temba A Nolutshungu
On 14 February, Leon Louw presented What is Oxfam's real agenda? It's not pro-poor. Louw discussed Oxfam’s meme: The rich get rich at the expense of the poor, and dealt with the following:
- Oxfam is carving a new role where their original purpose – large-scale charity for destitute people no longer exists. They have reinvented themselves as “equality” propagandists.
- Oxfam has lost its moral compass.
- Oxfam now fabricates sensational annual reports which misrepresent facts and popularise myths.
- They fabricate alarmist propaganda and make ideologically bankrupt proposals to advance a self-interested agenda while posing as champions of the poor.
Leon’s presentation can be viewed here.
- ECA Bill is anti-competitive, unconstitutional and will raise data prices
- SAA’s own new CEO inadvertently tolls airline’s death knell
- 1 percent VAT hike = SAA’s 5 year losses – R23bn
- A critical week for all data users
- AG qualified audit sounds SAA death knell – should surprise no one
On 28 February, economist Dawie Roodt presented The final countdown: How to survive this awful budget. Since 2009 (the “Z-years”), South Africa’s economy has been slipping into oblivion — driven by weak and unsure political leadership. We have all felt the impact of a deteriorating economy, heard about junk status, and seen the dismal forecasts. Growth is structurally low, unemployment is at an all-time high, confidence is at an historic low, and government finances are on the edge of collapse. South Africa faces a considerable task of restoring the health of the fiscus. Unfortunately, this plan will include increased taxes and many more new taxes. Nevertheless, the worst seems to be behind us. The new “number one” might not make all the difference, but the momentum of good sentiment might just spark a turn towards a better tomorrow.
Dawie’s presentation can be viewed here.
- FMF made a submission on the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill; Leon Louw led oral evidence to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.
- FMF made a submission on End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations; Leon Louw led oral evidence to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
- FMF made a submission on the Competition Amendment Bill.
The purpose of the FMF’s Finance Policy Unit is to promote the application of free market principles to financial markets. Current actions continue to focus on the “twin peaks” regulation of which the Financial Sector Regulation (FSR) Act is the architecture, and the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.
- Minister Gigaba: Reduce bloated government before introducing new taxes by Jasson Urbach
- Taxing people into poverty by Luke Muller
- Poverty and inequality: Heed Mandela and follow the Zimbabwe example by Jasson Urbach
On 14 March, Robert Vivian (Professor of Finance & Insurance, School of Economic and Business Sciences, Wits University) and Leon Louw presented FAIS the harbinger of things to come: A glimpse of the new world which beckons under Twin Peaks. Robert and Leon discussed:
- A Regulatory state without a regulatory purpose
- The stated purpose of FAIS which was quickly forgotten
- The replaced purposes
- Purposeless bureaucracy without cost constraints
- Taxes without parliament
- Head count from 0 – 500 and rising
- A budget from 0 – R600 MILLION per annum and rising
- Consumer relationships without contracts
- Legislation without parliament
- A judiciary without the judiciary
- The world we refused to have is the world we now have
Robert and Leon’s presentation can be viewed here.
- FMF 2018 Budget Comment: Getting the 9 million unemployed into jobs could increase GDP by R500 billion
- Far from protecting consumers, the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act and Twin Peaks cost billions and add nothing
- FMF made a submission on draft Amendments to FAIS Codes of Conduct.
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 “Twin Peaks” (or Financial Sector Regulation Act) 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 the law 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 all sectors of the economy, free, open markets with competitive private enterprises serve consumer needs best. For the indigent, it would be better for government to purchase higher quality healthcare at a lower cost from the private sector than to provide the service 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.
- Allowing low cost insurance options.
- LETTER: A better approach to Healthcare by Dr Johann Serfontein
- Lifting barrier to public's access to medicines by Jasson Urbach
- Health policy contradictions by Michael Settas
- The private medical scheme is in an extremely precarious situation by Jasson Urbach
- Taxing the sickest and most vulnerable is counterintuitive by Jasson Urbach
- No logic in interfering with folk who can afford health care by Jasson Urbach
- Health Department’s attack on medical insurance could be unconstitutional by Mark Oppenheimer
- LETTER: State is on wrong track by Jasson Urbach
- Medical insurance Demarcation Regulations – latest attack on personal freedom by heavy handed state
- Consumers need to understand that medical insurance is changing – for worse
JOBS CREATION / LABOUR
South Africa has an unacceptably high and rising level of unemployment. 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.
- The minimum wage magic wand by Chris Hattingh
- Set South Africa’s forgotten people free – in defense of the unemployed by Eustace Davie
- Mass unemployment doesn’t happen by accident. Here’s how we can start fixing it by Eustace Davie
On 24 January, Eustace Davie presented Failure to respect constitutional rights causes mass unemployment. Eustace dealt with the following:
- Mass unemployment can only occur when there are powerful blocking agents that prevent unemployed people from working in conditions of employment and at wages that are acceptable to them.
- There are provisions in the SA Constitution meant to protect vulnerable people, such as the 9.4 million unemployed, from having their rights abrogated.
- Sections of the Bill of Rights contained in the Constitution, if properly respected, would prevent mass unemployment.
- If respected properly, the right to dignity, to protection from violence, to freedom of association, and to choose their trade, occupation or profession would prevent mass unemployment.
- To exempt the unemployed from the labour laws and return to them the right to negotiate with an employer terms and conditions of employment that would be acceptable to them, would not only be a huge step towards giving hope and restoring a feeling of self-worth for millions of people and enable them to support themselves and their families but also an injection to get the SA economy growing.
Eustace’s presentation can be viewed here.
- Failure to respect constitutional rights causes mass unemployment
On 31 January, Frans Rautenbach, advocate and lawyer at the Cape Town Bar, presented The law, trade unions and economic growth - what role do they play in job creation? Frans discussed the question of how to regulate for job growth and improving conditions of employment. The common thread that runs through all successful countries is freedom of markets, and, in particular, freedom of labour markets, with the arguable exception of a small group of successful North-European examples that bedevils discussions about the topic in South Africa.
Frans’s presentation can be viewed here.
- FMF made a submission on the Catering Industry Bargaining Council.
- FMF made two submissions on the National Minimum Wage Bill; Temba Nolutshunug and Eustace Davie led oral evidence to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour.
- FMF made a submission on the Labour Relations Amendment Bill.
FMF believes that secure property rights represent one of the most important requirements for the protection of both economic freedom and civil liberties. FMF is very concerned about recent proposals to amend the property rights clause in the Constitution. 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
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, Barkly West, Viljoenskroon, Alex, Thanda and Cape Town (Hout Bay, Vukuzenzele, Hillview).
Of the almost-7,000 transfers for which FMF has raised funding to date, over 1,650 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 R162 million – now there’s bang for your buck.
Change a family’s life for the better today
If you would like to sponsor a title deed at just R2,250 (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. And another who sponsors one title deed per month. Why not join them?
Title deed presentations this quarter
- On 16 January, 117 title deeds were presented to residents in Stellenbosch – see photos here.
- On 7 February, 52 titles were presented to residents in Ngwathe – see photos here.
- On 21 March, 20 titles were presented to residents in Vukuzenzela – see photos here.
Articles – see also Rule of Law below for more land articles
- Think again, ANC members, before you give up your secure property rights protection! by Eustace Davie
- EWC tramples the sacrifices made by those who fought against colonialism and apartheid by Chris Hattingh
- Expropriation: Anti-white in rhetoric, anti-black in practice by Martin van Staden
- Wrong decision on land could kill off SA's US trade ties by richard Tren
- Land reform: The free market way by Martin van Staden
- More time required to comment on expropriation without compensation amendment by Martin van Staden
- Historic transfer of 117 title deeds in Stellenbosch thanks to the Municipality, Johann Rupert and the FMF
- A further 52 Free State residents in Parys get title deeds and full home ownership
Expropriation without compensation – land summit events
- FMF was invited to participate in a summit on expropriation without compensation a week after Parliament adopted its motion to consider the policy. Eustace Davie and Martin van Staden attended the summit, hosted by AfriBusiness and attended by the DA, ACDP, FF+, FW De Klerk Foundation, IRR, AgriSA and others, on 6 March. Van Staden presented the FMF’s position. The consensus from the summit was that the Constitution must not be amended and that expropriation without compensation be opposed, but that land reform must be sped up as regards restitution and urban tenure reform.
- From 27-28 March, Martin van Staden and Chris Hattingh represented the FMF at a summit on land expropriation without compensation at GIBS Business School in Illovo.
FMF nominated for UN Public Service Award
Impumelelo regularly places its award-winners on the international platform by submitting them to the Dubai International Awards for Best Practices, the UN Public Service Awards, Schwab Foundation and many others. Over the years 21 Impumelelo award-winners received International awards for best practice.
The United Nations Public Service Awards promotes and rewards innovation and excellence in public services in support of the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the principle of leaving no one behind, which forms the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Impumelelo submitted two of their award winners that focus on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable through inclusive services and partnerships.
The 2 projects are:
- Khaya Lam Land Reform Project (Free Market Foundation)
- Development of an Appropriate Rural Model for Community Care Workers
The awards will be handed out on the 23rd of June 2018, in Morocco – let’s hope FMF wins!
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.
10 imperatives of the Rule of Law
The Rule of Law Project formulated the following 10 imperatives of the Rule of Law.
- All law must be clear, predictable, accessible, not contradictory, and shall not have retrospective effect.
- All legislation that makes provision for discretionary powers, must also incorporate the objective criteria by which those powers are to be exercised. The enabling legislation must, in addition, stipulate the purpose or purposes for which the powers may be exercised.
- All law must apply the principle of equality before the law.
- All law must be applied fairly, impartially, and without fear, favour or prejudice.
- The sole legitimate authority for making substantive law rests with the legislature, which authority shall not be delegated to any other entity.
- No law shall have the aim or the effect of circumventing the final authority of the courts.
- No one may be deprived of or have their property expropriated, except if done with due process for the public interest, and in exchange for market-related, fair and just compensation.
- The law shall afford adequate protection of classical individual rights.
- All law must comply with the overriding principle of reasonableness, which comprehends rationality, proportionality, and effectiveness.
- The legislature and organs of state shall observe due process in the rational exercise of their authority.
- How the Constitutional Court may still save property rights by Martin van Staden
- New traffic law inconsistent with the rule of law by Martin van Staden
- Hate-speech bill: A threat to democracy in South Africa by Martin van Staden
- Navigating the digital divide: Internet access a human right? by Martin van Staden
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 infratructure and security, are all that is required for the realisation of human potential.
- Be cautious in the regulation of basic education by Martin van Staden
- Zuma’s announcement of free higher education is laughable by Jessica Canada Wellman
- Oxfam cares about the rich not the poor by Andrew Kenny
- Oxfam’s latest report is dangerous and intellectually dishonest
- Oxfam or Oscam? Inequality propaganda exposed
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