April 2018 – June 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.
246 ARTICLES that quote or mention the FMF or originate from interviews or media releases or were written specifically for the media or the FMF’s website were published this quarter – up from 166 last quarter. See projects below for more information.
INTERVIEWS on radio and TV number 35 this quarter – up from 32 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 release to over 1,000 editors and journalists. Additional ad hoc releases mean FMF distributed 16 MEDIA RELEASES 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 May 2018, for example, our website had 36,652 visits with 78,421 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: 3,686 followers
Facebook: 4,226 likes
YouTube: 207 videos; 772 subscribers; 91,392 views
Watch these two golden oldies recently digitised and uploaded to our YouTube channel:
South Africa: The solution
A constitution worth fighting for
FMF history series
We have begun the mammoth task of unearthing and presenting our 43-year history.
If you would like to know more, why not begin by dipping into our under-construction timeline.
We have digitised our photographs and added them to our website beginning with our 1977 (re)inauguration – see galleries.
We have digitised ancient, dusty VHS tapes and uploaded them to our YouTube channel here. A few noteworthy standouts include Leon Louw’s presentations, a prelude to the writing of South African: The Solution. There are 6 videos in this 1985 series beginning with HISTORY SERIES South Africa: The Solution 1 of 6. See also our 1986 privatisation conference: HISTORY SERIES Privatisation conference 1986 1 of 3 and our 1989 consumer conference: HISTORY SERIES Consumer power conference 1989 1 of 5.
If you have any photographs or tales from FMF’s past, we would welcome you sharing them with us.
Previous cartoons published by FMF can be viewed here.
PROJECTS (note: all articles, media releases 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.
- Small business dismisses new tobacco Bill as war against the poor
- New Tobacco Bill anti-poor and racist; impact assessment missing
- From nanny state to the nation’s baby sitter
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.
- South Africa is not capitalist, but needs to be by Martin van Staden
- Spectrum trading should be encouraged, not banned by Martin van Staden
- Auctioning of spectrum could provide the money government is looking for by Martin van Staden
- South Africa should follow winners, not losers by Leon Louw and Martin van Staden
- A trend that builds a nation by Paul Pereira
- ICT policy: Don’t fix what isn’t broken by Martin van Staden
- Lessons from Air India by Chris Hattingh
- Blame political elite for poverty and lack of economic freedom by Martin van Staden
- Do SA a favour: Close down SAA and pay all staff one year’s retrenchment package. Bargain! By Temba A Nolutshungu
On 24 April, Adrian Schofield and Leon Louw presented The ECA Bill will be a disaster for South Africa. They discussed how The ECA Bill affects all consumers, business and the economy; data will be more expensive, network investment will stop, dropped and poor-quality calls will be more common, SA will be less competitive, and SA will not have new technologies.
Adrian & Leon’s presentation can be viewed here
- NOTE TO THE MEDIA (SAA)
- DTPS ECA Bill – void for vagueness and therefore probably unconstitutional
- SAA hiding behind “commercially sensitive information” – hearings must not evade public’s right to know
- FMF’s executive director Leon Louw issues wager to SAA CEO Vuyani Jarana – R100K to charity if SAA profitable by 2021
- FMF Executive Director, Leon Louw, welcomes CEO Vuyani Jarana’s acceptance of his wager that SAA cannot be saved
The world’s experience shows that private investment and management of electricity generation, transmission and distribution are essential because of the critical role played by competition in ensuring the lowest prices, timely investment, availability of capital, and continuity of supply. A well-functioning electricity supply system has certain essential features: independently owned and operated transmission grid; independent power producers; trade in electricity.
- No reason for government to be involved in personal electricity generation by Chris Hattingh
- Give Eskom – nothing – and certainly not R67 billion
- Terry Markman led oral evidence on Eskom’s MYPD 3 Application to NERSA
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.
- Reinforcing the rand by Luke Muller
- Free at last – Tax Freedom Day 2018 by Garth Zietsman
- TEASER: When is Tax Freedom Day 2018?
- Congratulations SA tax payers – you can now keep your own money
- FMF made a submission on SARB Amendment Bill (Private Member's Bill)
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: State is on wrong track by Jasson Urbach
- Govt squeezing the life out of medical insurance by Jasson Urbach
- Call to end SA drug approval delays by Jasson Urbach
- The empire of the competition regime by Robert Vivian
- The empire of medical schemes by Robert Vivian
- Warning: SA's centrist medical schemes strategy will bring higher costs and poorer quality by Michael Settas
- Aaron Motsoaledi is crippling SA’s ability to train enough doctors by Jasson Urbach
- Drug makers slapped with a backlog fee by Jasson Urbach
- Health insurance disappears for South Africans
- Young people and families hit hardest by gap cover limitations
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 9.4 million unemployed – a NMW will just make it that much harder for these individuals to climb onto the first rung of the economic ladder.
- Job Seekers Exemption Certificates: Just Let Me Work! by Eustace Davie
- Politicians approve economically disastrous and unconstitutional NMW by Eustace Davie
- FMF made a submission on Draft Regulations to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Bill; Temba Nolutshungu and Eustace Davie led oral evidence to the Portfolio Committee on Labour
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
- Land reform urgently needed in urban areas by Eustace Davie and Martin van Staden
- Property right are human rights by Chris Hattingh
- Absurdity of South Africa’s estate agency laws by Mike Spencer
- Expropriation without compensation would affect the rule of law by Gary Moore
- Unconstitutional subdivision restriction the major obstacle to rapid land reform by Roan Stoop
- Six myths about the land question that must be exposed by Mark Oppenheimer
- Snake in the grass with Joburg housing policy by Martin van Staden
- Gauteng government is undermining constitutional democracy by Martin van Staden
- SA history of disrespect for property rights by Eustace Davie
On 23 May, Terence Corrigan (Institute of Race Relations) and Temba A Nolutshungu (FMF director) presented Expropriation without compensation – betrayal of the struggle. Terence’s talk focused on the ideological and policy roots of EWC and the extensive impact that a sustained government drive to weaken private property rights and expand state interference in the economy over the past decade have had on the South African economy – the implications of which go far beyond the agricultural sector. Temba shared his view that EWC is a betrayal of the struggle of black people. Secure property rights will be lost for generations. EWC will return South Africa back into the jaws of apartheid. Property deprivation has never ended since apartheid but continues on a massive scale for public purposes and affects almost exclusively black citizens.
Terence and Temba’s presentation can be viewed here.
- Only 45 days to comment on changing S 25 of the Constitution – the property rights clause – is irresponsible and anti-democratic
- Government’s two-week extension to the comment period on Expropriation Without Compensation is an insult to democracy
- Expropriation without compensation (EWC) is a betrayal of the struggle
- Never again – property rights must be protected
- FMF made a submission on Johannesburg Inclusionary Housing Policy
- FMF made a submission on Expropriation without Compensation
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.
- There is no need for the Hate Speech Bill by Chris Hattingh
- Violations of the Rule of Law undermine the Political Party Funding Bill by Martin van Staden
On 13 June, Rex van Schalkwyk, Chairman of the FMF Rule of Law Board of Advisors and former judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, presented Violation of the Rule of Law gave SA the Guptas and Zuma corruption. Rex demonstrated that the Rule of Law stands between a civilised society and tyranny. State Capture happened because of a systematic violation of the Rule of Law. In the absence of the Rule of Law, doors are wide open to arbitrary political action. Rex also discussed recent FMF research that shows that government and particularly Parliament have abandoned the founding values of the Constitution and show a systematic violation of the Rule of Law.
Rex’s presentation can be viewed here
- New Hate Speech Bill an improvement, but is still unnecessary
- Violation of the Rule of Law gave SA the Guptas and Zuma corruption
- FMF made a submission on Political Party Funding Bill; Martin van Staden led oral evidence on the bill
Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill
In 2016, government published the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. This bill came to be known as the “Hate Speech Bill” due to its draconian definition and penalty for offensive expression, relegating the “hate crimes” aspect of it – for which it was originally intended – to a distant memory. The bill intended to criminalise expressions that brought into contempt or ridiculed someone based on a laundry-list of SEVENTEEN protected grounds, including “belief” and “occupation or trade”. In essence, ordinary insults would have been made illegal and punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment. A second offence would lead to up to TEN years’ imprisonment. The hate speech provisions were clearly unconstitutional, as the Constitution defines hate speech strictly: advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. The FMF opposed the bill from the beginning and played an important part in stimulating the process of public participation, doing dozens of radio and television interviews and publishing articles throughout the media. The FMF also contributed to a submission on behalf of comedians, cartoonists, and satirists. The wave of public disapproval led to the bill being shelved almost immediately.
It resurfaced in April 2018, when a new draft bill was published. The new bill heeded most of the FMF’s concerns and now contains a definition of hate speech that aligns closely – albeit not completely – with that of the Constitution. The bill still contains various imperfections, not least the fact that it is not a required intervention per se, given the doctrine of crimen injuria and provisions in the Equality Act and the Films and Publications Act which already prohibit hate speech. The FMF will continue to engage with government and civil society on the bill in the hope that the bill’s hate speech provisions are, at best, abandoned (so that the bill can focus on combating hate crimes, as originally intended), or, at least, refined so as to accord strictly with the constitutional conception of hate speech.
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.
- Political correctness is supposed to protect me, but I reject its censorship by Temba A Nolutshungu
- Trump was right, South Africa is a 'crime ridden mess' by Phumlani Majozi
On 30 May, Cecelia Kok presented Are you free to be you? A talk on individual freedom and identity politics. Cecelia talked about how the world is witnessing a rise in identity politics on both ends of the political spectrum. On the right, Trump’s election promise of a border wall with Mexico, his strong anti-Muslim rhetoric as well as his remarks about ‘shithole’ African countries reveal a deep hostility to others on the basis of certain kinds of group identity. On the left, notions such as ‘the patriarchy’, ‘white supremacy’ and ‘cultural appropriation’ speak to the centrality of social groups, notably race and gender. What does this mean for individual freedom? Are identity politics and individual freedom compatible?
Cecelia’s presentation can be viewed here
On 20 June, Wayne Duvenage, CEO of OUTA, presented The OUTA story: From e-toll boycott to defence of the taxpayer. Wayne detailed OUTA’s journey, its close calls with near closure, and the challenges it faced and overcame to achieve its broader mandate as tax abuse watchdog. Wayne also provided a high-level exposure of the modus operandi of state capture with particular reference to State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
Wayne’s presentation can be viewed here
- Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: “Here lies the drug to coagulate the blood of the bleeding nation…”
- FMF made a submission on BBBEE Codes
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